The sale of Emirates International Telecommunications’ (EIT’s) 35% stake in Tunisian state-backed operator Tunisie Telecom (TT) to private equity firm Abraaj Group has reportedly been cancelled, following accusations that the latter had mishandled investors’ funds. Tunisie Haut Debit cites unnamed sources as saying that the sale had been put on hold in February – when accusations of embezzlement by Abraaj first surfaced – but has now been cancelled. According to the source, EIT has not provided the Tunisian government with an official notification on the developments.
EIT acquired its stake in 2006 for USD2.25 billion, but has had a rocky relationship with the Tunisian government and TT’s management. Following a series of disagreements over a planned initial public offering (IPO) that EIT claims was cancelled without its consent, the Dubai-based firm began looking to exit the telco in mid-2013.