TECOM-DIG consortium secures 35% stake in Tunisie Telecom for US$2.25bn

TECOM-DIG consortium secures 35% stake in Tunisie Telecom for US$2.25bn

DUBAI, 29 April 2006: The consortium of TECOM Investments and Dubai Investment Group (TECOM-DIG), both members of Dubai Holding, has secured a 35% stake in Tunisia's national telecoms provider, Tunisie Telecom. The TECOM-DIG consortium's bid, at US$ 2.25 billion, was declared the highest of several international offers.

The signing ceremony took place in Tunis yesterday and was attended by the Tunisian Minister of Communication Technologies, His Excellency Montassar Ouaili, the Tunisian Minister of Finance, His Excellency Mohammed Rachid Kechiche, the CEO of TECOM Investments, Mr Ahmad Bin Byat and the CEO of DIG, Mr Soud Ba'alawy.

"This is a unique and unprecedented entry in the Tunisian market for TECOM Investments,"

said Ahmad Bin Byat, CEO of TECOM Investments. "We are delighted to have this opportunity to work directly in such a dynamic market. This is more than just an acquisition - TECOM-DIG is a strategic partner for Tunisie Telecom and we will be involved in the process of hiring senior management resources."

"This will be a very significant step forward in the implementation of DIG's international expansion strategy which is focused on securing key growth assets in both mature and emerging markets," said Mr Ba'alawy. "The transaction forms part of a long-term commitment to the Tunisian market."

TECOM-DIG was pre-qualified together with 12 other international telecom operators in Q3 2005. Six operators presented formal offers in February 2006, including France Telecom, Vivendi Universal, Etisalat, Saudi Oger/Telecom Italia and MTN from South Africa.

At the end of 2005, Tunisie Telecom had a customer base of 3.4 million mobile subscribers and 1.2 million fixed line subscribers. Tunisie Telecom is the sole provider of fixed line services. In the mobile market, Tunisie Telecom competes against Tunisiana and has a majority market share of 60% in the mobile sector. Tunisie Telecom is a majority shareholder of Mattel, a mobile operator in Mauritania.

Tunisie Telecom is an integrated operator providing Fixed, Mobile and Data Services in Tunisia. The TECOM-DIG consortium established their International Telecom arm earlier in 2005.