Tunisian tangle for Orascom

24 Mar 2005

The Egyptian telecoms group Orascom has revealed that its attempt to increase its stake in its Tunisian cellular subsidiary have stalled due to problems with the seller, the Palestine Investment Fund (PIF). Orascom has agreed to buy PIF’s 22.3% stake in Orascom Telecom Tunisia, which trades under the name Tunisiana, but says the Palestinian group has failed to complete the transaction. It is now approaching the International Court of Arbitration at the International Chamber of Commerce to try to resolve the matter. Orascom currently has a 20.47% stake in Tunisiana, which had around 900,000 subscribers at the end of 2004. While the Tunisian agreement is in limbo, Orascom has revealed that a deal to acquire PIF’s 23.07% holding in Algerian mobile operator Djezzy has been completed successfully.