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STC said it has raised its share in VIVA to a controlling stake after acquiring 25.8 percent of shares for $425 million.

STC, the largest Arab telecommunications firm in terms of capitalization, had held a 26-percent stake in VIVA since its establishment in 2008 and was running the company.

In December, STC made an optional bid to purchase all other shares for $3.30 each. The offer ended on January 31.

STC said in a statement posted on the Saudi and Kuwaiti stock markets that holders of 128.8 million shares, or 25.8 percent of the company, accepted the offer, raising its stake in VIVA to 51.8 percent.

VIVA is Kuwait's third mobile operator along with Zain and Qatar-held Ooredoo. It has a customer base of 2.4 million clients. As for STC, it has more than 100 million customers and operates in nine countries including Turkey, South Africa, India and Malaysia.

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