, DOHA, Nov 22 – Qatar Telecom announced on Monday that it has teamed up with a Tunisian consortium led by Princesse Holding to acquire a remaining 50 percent share in Orascom Telecom Tunisie, Tunisiana, for 1.2 billion dollars.
Qtel has signed the agreement through its subsidiary Watiniya Telecom, in which it owns a 52.5 percent stake and which already controls a 50 percent shareholding in Tunisiana.
The partners will work with the Tunisian authorities to finalise the transaction, a statement said, adding that a deal with Orascom Telecom is expected to be closed in early January.
"The acquisition is in line with the Qtel Group\’s vision for 2020, which aims to position us among the top 20 telecommunications companies in the world," said Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Saud al-Thani, chairman of the Qtel Group.
Qtel is the largest company in the Middle East and North Africa by number of operations, with a presence in 17 countries and more than 68 million customers.
"Tunisiana has been an outstanding asset within our portfolio and Tunisiana has been able to establish its position as a leading communications company in Tunisia," Sheikh Abdullah said.
Tunisiana is the second mobile operator in Tunisia. It has over 5.7 million subscribers.
Princesse Holding is a diversified company led by Sakher El Materi, the son in law of Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. It has investments in car distribution, tourism, property, media, financial services and agriculture.