Orascom sells 50pc stake in $1.2bn deal

ORASCOM Telecom has sold its 50 per cent stake in Tunisian mobile operator Tunisiana to a Qatari-Tunisian consortium for $1.2bn in a further sign of consolidation in the Arab telecoms market.

The consortium includes Qatar Telecom’s (Qtel) Kuwaiti unit Wataniya, which already owns 50 per cent of Tunisiana, the Qatari fixed line and wireless carrier said yesterday. Proceeds will be used to cut Orascom’s debt, its parent company Weather Investments said.

Weather Investments – the vehicle through which Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris controls his telecoms empire – agreed on 4 October to sell most of Orascom’s assets to Russian telecoms operator Vimpelcom in a potential $6.6bn deal.