According to the Tunisian Technology and Communication Ministry, French media group Vivendi has made the highest bid of TND2.44 billion (USD1.81 billion) in the auction to buy a 35% stake in Tunisie Telecom (TT). Vivendi was ranked ahead of Dubai’s Tecom-Dig (which offered TND2.38 billion) and a joint bid by Saudi Oger and Telecom Italia (TND2.123 billion). France Telecom’s bid was placed fourth at TND2.11 billion while United Arab Emirates Etisalat and South Africa’s MTN offered TND1.9 billion and TND1.898 billion respectively. The two highest placed bidders – Vivendi and Tecom-Dig – now go forward to the next round of the auction, to be held on 29 March at 1500GMT, where they are expected to present improved offers. The offer envelopes will be opened an hour later at a public session, suggesting that the winner will be confirmed immediately.