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Dubai hires Credit Suisse to sell Tunisia telco stake

EIT is stepping up sales from its telecom portfolio

Gulf News

Dubai: Dubai Holding’s telecoms unit has hired Credit Suisse as a financial adviser to sell its 35-per cent stake in state-owned Tunisie Telecom, three banking sources aware of the matter said.

The unit - Emirates International Telecommunications (EIT) - is stepping up sales from its telecoms portfolio. EIT has already put its 26-per cent stake in mobile telephone retailer Axiom Telecom on the block and has hired Citigroup Inc as an adviser, sources told Reuters earlier in the week.

Last week, the Tunisian government said Dubai Holding was considering a sale of its stake in Tunisie Telecom, without providing any additional details. EIT bought the stake for $2.25 billion in 2006. Tunisia owns the rest.

“Like any investment company, EIT is always evaluating exit options that are in line with its investment strategy and in case of Tunisie Telecom this is being done in full alignment with the Tunisian State,” EIT said in a statement on Tuesday.

Credit Suisse declined to comment.

Credit Suisse has sounded out to several interested parties for the stake, which also includes the rights to manage the company, the sources said speaking on condition of anonymity.

One source familiar with the process said Turkish telecom groups Turkcell and Turk Telekom could be interested in the stake.

“We are aware of the opportunity. We are obtaining information to evaluate it properly. It is in very early stages.

No decision has been made at the board level,” a Turkcell source told Reuters. Turk Telekom declined to comment.