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01 December 2017
| Alan Burkitt-Gray
The emir of Dubai has sold his 35% stake in Tunisia’s Tunisie Telecom for an undisclosed price, with the Tunisian minister of telecoms saying the deal will help the company’s development.
Tunisie Telecom also owns a controlling 65% stake in Malta
incumbent operator Go.
The new owner of the stake is Dubai-based private equity
company Abraaj Group, which has invested $13.6 billion in
restaurants, fertilizer, e-commerce and other businesses around
the world. It was founded by Pakistan-born, Dubai-based
businessman Arif Naqvi.
The emir, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, owned the
stake through Emirates International Telecommunications (EIT),
which is a subsidiary of his Dubai Holdings group.
EIT also owns a 19.5% stake in Dubai operator du, as well as
26% of Middle East distributor Axiom Telecom. It bought the
Tunisie Telecom stake in 2006 for $2.25 billion, but neither
side has disclosed the purchase price.
EIT acquired its stake in Go in 2006 but transferred the shares
to Tunisie Telecom in 2016.
Tunisia’s minister of communications and digital
economy, Anwar Maarouf, told parliament in Tunis: "The
UAE’s Abraaj became a new partner in Tunisie
Telecom to succeed Dubai Holding which sold its 35%
He added, according to Reuters: "The entry of the new partner
contributes to the development of the company’s