Orascom Telecom has completed the sale of its 50% stake in Tunisian wireless network operator Tunisiana, in a deal worth USD1.2 billion. The transaction, announced on 22 November last year, will see Orascom use the proceeds to strengthen its liquidity and support the development of higher growth businesses.
Orascom Telecom sold the stake to a consortium that includes Qtel’s Kuwaiti unit Wataniya, which already owns 50% of Tunisiana. Of the 50%, 75% will be held by Wataniya with the remainder owned by Princesse Holding, a local firm. According to Qtel, Tunisiana shares will be listed on the Tunis stock exchange in the first half of 2011. ‘We are trying to speed up the process to allow the listing to take place in the first half of 2011,’ Sheikh Abdallah al-Thani told reporters in Tunis. Thani also said Qtel’s future expansion strategy is focusing on the Middle East and North Africa region. ‘There are opportunities in this region. Our goal is to become among the world’s top 20 telecoms firms by 2020,’ he told Reuters.