KT gives up on Tunisie Telecom acquisition

South Korean operator KT has abandoned its attempt to acquire a 35% stake in Tunisie Telecom without providing an explanation.

KT first stated an interest in the Tunisian operator in autumn last year; however this was only at a very preliminary level. TT is the country’s second largest, with around 4.36 million connections at the end of Q4 2013.

The Korean operator has withdrawn from previous acquisition attempts in the region. In April last year, KT dropped its bid for a 53% interest in Maroc Telecom as it considered the 53% stake overpriced.

Emirates International Telecommunications (EIT), a branch of Dubai Holding, currently holds the TT stake but is attempting to sell it in order to lower its debt. It originally acquired the stake in 2006 for $2.25 billion.

Fortunately for EIT, around 10 operators were reportedly interested in acquiring the stake, at least during preliminary talks. These included Middle Eastern heavyweights such as Etisalat and Turkcell.