The majority of individual shareholders in Maltese telco GO have refused an offer from Tunisie Telecom (TT) to acquire their shares. Dubai’s Emirates International Communications (EIT) had previously agreed to offload its 60% interest in GO at EUR2.87 (USD3.25) per share, and TT extended the same offer to the telco’s minority investors. Shareholders representing just 5.4% of GO’s shares accepted the offer, however, since GO’s shares are currently trading at around the EUR3.45 mark, the Times of Malta reports.
The deal has sparked controversy because EIT is a 35% shareholder in the Tunisian operator, with the other 65% in state hands. While EIT insists that its board members at TT did not participate in the decision to acquire GO, some politicians in Tunisia are saying that the acquisition sets up a number of conflicts of interest and that it was instigated by EIT to serve its own purposes. Regulators in Tunisia and Malta are currently considering whether they should investigate the share sale further.