Dubai investor buys emir’s stake in Tunisie Telecom
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% stake.”
He added, according to Reuters: “The entry of the new partner contributes to the development of the company’s activity.”