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Dubai Holding offloads 35% stake in Tunisie Telecom

Dubai Holding offloads 35% stake in Tunisie Telecom

The Abraaj Group now holds 35% stake in Tunisie Telecom after paying an undisclosed amount for the shares previously held by Emirates International Telecommunications (EIT), a Dubai Holding.

Since 2013 when it made public its intention to exit Tunisie Telecom, Dubai Holding, EIT had been unable to transfer its 35% stake in Tunisia Telecom to a new owner until this week when Tunisia's Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Anouar Maarouf confirmed the Abraaj Group deal.

There was no disclosure of the amount Abraaj paid for the shares although EIT had reportedly spent over US$2 billion on the company since it became involved in 2006.

Founded in 2002 by its CEO Arif Naqvi, Abraaj has grown to become a private equity group is a global institution that is investing in selected markets and sectors across Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and Turkey.

The exit of EIT from the telecoms company began in 2013 with the holding claiming its planned exit was as a result of the permanent conflict maintained by the union representatives with the management, claiming a salary increase and increased competition in the local telecommunications market. These, EIT said, was responsible for the telecoms company's weak financial performance.

The entry of Abraaj, Maarouf said, will help to develop the company's operations.

Negotiations for the transfer of the shares began in 2016 and the first mention of the deal was made on a radio interview by Nizar Bouguila, Tunisie Telecoms' Chairman and CEO, on 30 November of that year.

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