Wataniya, Princesse Holdings to acquire Tunisiana

Orascom sells its stake in Tunisiana for $1.2 billion, deal to close by Jan 2011

Tags: Mobile broadbandMobile penetrationOrascom Telecom HoldingOrascom Telecom TunisieQatar TelecomUnited Arab Emirates
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Wataniya, Princesse Holdings to acquire Tunisiana Wataniya already owns a 50% stake in Tunisiana. (Getty Images)
By  Nithyasree Trivikram Published  November 22, 2010

Wataniya Telecom and a consortium led by Princesse Holdings of Tunisia have agreed to acquire a 50% stake in Orascom Telecom Tunisie from Orascom Telecom, for $1.2 billion.

Wataniya, which is a subsidiary of Qatar's Qtel Group, already owns a 50% stake in Tunisiana.

Wataniya and the Princesse Holdings consortium expect to complete the deal in early January 2011.

Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammed Bin Saud Al-Thani, chairman of the Qtel Group said that the partnership with Princesse Holding will enable Qtel to take Tunisiana "to the next stage of its development" and offer the Tunisian public competitive communications services in the coming years.

With over 5.7 million subscribers as of September 2010, Tunisiana has a market share of about 51% of Tunisia's mobile market, and competes with Tunisie Telecom and new entrant, Orange Tunisie, which launched fixed and mobile services in the country in May 2010.Currently, Wataniya will be controlling the board and management of Tunisiana, allowing it to fully consolidate the business.

Qtel acquired a majority shareholding in Wataniya in 2007. With this transaction, Qtel Group now controls nine operations in the MENA region, with a subscriber base of more than 68 million customers.

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