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KT gunning for Tunisie Telecom stake

Korean operator KT has stated that it is currently negotiating a potential acquisition of a 35% stake in Tunisian state operator Tunisie Telecom.

Major players such as Etisalat and Turkcell have expressed an interest in the state, which is currently held by Dubai Holding subsidiary Emirates International Telecommunications (EIT). The group is looking to sell in order to lower its debt, and may have as many as ten bidders.

The state operator is the market’s number two player with 4.4 million subscribers. The market is led by Wataniya subsidiary Tunisiana with 7.3 million subscribers.

Earlier this year KT attempted to move into the North African market but abandoned its attempt to acquire Vivendi’s 53% stake in Maroc Telecom.

The Tunisie Telecom stake has haemorrhaged value – it was acquired by EIT in 2006 for $2.25 billion, but in July was valued at just $650 million.

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