Libyan state fund in talks to acquire 35% stake in Tunisie Telecom

A unit in the Libyan sovereign wealth fund could be set to acquire a 35% stake in state-owned Tunisie Telecom from a UAE conglomerate owned by Dubai’s ruler.

Emirates International Telecommunications (EIT) is looking to reduce its debt, and the company is reportedly prepared to take a hit on a stake it bought in the company in 2006 for $2.25 billion. The arm was valued at $650 million by Morgan Chase in July.

It is thought the company is also up on the block considering the recent political and economical uprisings in the region.

According to sources, LAP GreenN, a subsidiary of Libyan Investment Authority’s (LIA) Libya Africa Investment Portfolio has hired an international investment bank to advise it, and the company is undertaking due diligence on the purchase. LIA has assets of approximately $60 billion according to Reuters.

A statement released by EIT stated it “carries regular strategic options reviews which could materialise in a disposal including its stake holding in Tunisie Telecom”.

LAP GreenN has a service portfolio of mobile and fixed-line services with operations in Uganda, Ivory Coast, South Sudan and Sierra Leone.

Tunisia claimed 13 companies were interested in buying the stake in June, including UAE-based Etisalat and Turkey’s Turkcell.

According to analysts, a lot of the companies were initially interested in the bid had backed away considering the political risks concerned with a potential acquisition.