Turkcell eye Dubai’s Tunisie Telecom stake

Turkcell eye Dubai’s Tunisie Telecom stake

TUNIS - Reuters
Turkcell eye Dubai’s Tunisie Telecom stake

Turkcell is interested in buying a stake in Tunisie Telecom, officials say. AFP Photo

Thirteen companies including Abu Dhabi-based Etisalat and Turkey’s Turkcell have expressed interest in buying Dubai Holding’s 35 percent stake in state-owned Tunisie Telecom, a government official said on late June 26.

The Tunisian government said last week that Dubai Holding, which owns the stake through its unit Emirates International Telecommunications (EIT), was considering selling out of the former monopoly Tunisie Telecom.

EIT, which paid $2.25 billion for the 35 percent holding in 2006, has hired Credit Suisse to advise on a sale, banking sources said.

“There are 13 companies which expressed interests in buying a 35 percent stake, including six known international companies,” Ahmed ben Hussien, an official in the Ministry of Communications said. “Turkcell and Turk Telekom, Korea Telecom, Etisalat and two others from China,” he said without giving more details.

Etisalat chief executive Ahmad Julfar declined to comment. Etisalat is the largest Gulf telecom operator by market value and is the sole remaining bidder for Vivendi’s 53 percent stake in Maroc Telecom.

A Turkcell source told to Hürriyet Daily News yesterday the company was in the process of evaluating the opportunity, while Türk Telekom declined to comment.

Dubai Holding’s telecoms unit hired Credit Suisse as a financial adviser to sell its stake, three banking sources said last week.