The Communications Ministry announced on 8 March that six international telcos had submitted bids to take a 35 per cent stake in Tunisie Telecom (TT), the fixed-line and mobile operator. Prices are expected to be opened by the end of March, with a winner expected to be declared soon after.
Thirteen telcos were prequalified last year to bid for the stake, which is expected to net the government more than $1,500 million. Saudi Telecom, Bahrain Telecommunications Company (Batelco) and Kuwait's MTC, which were all prequalified, did not submit an offer (MEED 14:10:05). TT is an attractive purchase. It has more than a 70 per cent market share of local mobile services and is the country's only fixed-line operator. A consortium led by Santander Investment and Banque d'Affaires de Tunisie is financial adviser on the sale (MEED 2:9:05).