According to the Tunisian Communications Ministry six companies have entered bids for a 35% stake in Tunisie Telecom including France Telecom, Vivendi Universal, MTN and Etisalat. Another possible interested party is TECOM, the Dubai-based telecoms provider that was acquired by the Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company in February for USD330 million, and is the organisation behind the UAE’s second operator ‘du’. The sixth bidder is rumoured to be a consortium between Telecom Italia and Saudi Oger, the same mix which successfully bid for the Turk Telecom stake last year. Financial offers for Tunisie are scheduled to be examined by the end of March, although the winner will not be revealed until June. An auction may be considered if offers are within 10% of each other. The stake has been valued at USD1.8 billion.