OT sells its 50 per cent stake in Tunisiana to Qatar Telecom

Ahram Online, Wednesday 5 Jan 2011

Deal improves OT's liquidity but is valued at less than the recent average for such transactions in the region

Orascom Telecom (OT) has announced the completion of the sale of its entire shareholding in Orascom Tunisia Holding and Carthage Consortium Ltd, two companies through which OT owns 50 per cent of Orascom Telecom Tunisie, to Qatar Telecom, according to a press release by Beltone Financial.

'The sale of Tunisiana to Qtel was finalised as scheduled for early January 2011, with no hurdles or delays,” states the report. “Weather Investments (owner of 51 per cent of OT) and Vimpelcom, announced their full support of the divestment of the Tunisian operations of OT. The proceeds from the Tunisiana sale should strengthen OT’s liquidity position, creating a new capital cushion for the company (after the $800 million capital increase in early 2010) until the Algerian conflict is resolved.”

The deal was executed at a valuation of only 6.1 x the ration for enterprise value to earnings before tax. This is lower than recent deals in the MENA region, which average 8.2 times that ratio.

OT announced on November 22 of last year that the cash value of the transaction is $1.2 billion. 

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