Qtel finalizes partnership in Tunisiana

Press release
Published January 6th, 2011 - 01:43 GMT

Princesse Holding Group and Qatar Telecom (Qtel) announced today the finalization of their partnership in Tunisiana which sees Princesse Holding taking up 25% of Tunisiana’s shares with National Mobile Telecommunications Company K.S.C. (Wataniya) a 52.5% subsidiary of Qtel, increasing its stake from 50% to 75%. Under the shareholders’ agreement signed today, Princesse Holding’s Chairman, Mr. Mohamed Sakher Al Materi, becomes the new Chairman of Tunisiana. 

Since the announcement of the purchase agreement in November 2010, Qtel and its partners have worked closely with the Tunisian authorities to implement the partnership. 

H.E. Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohamed bin Saud al-Thani, Chairman of both Qtel and Wataniya, said: “The Qtel Group has a successful history of working with trusted local partners, and we are delighted to have entered into partnership with the Princesse Holding consortium, one of Tunisia’s leading groups. The successful conclusion of this agreement underlines the strong bonds that link Qatar with Tunisia, and demonstrates the ongoing and evolving opportunities for joint investment and development.”

As previously communicated, the stock was acquired for a total consideration of USD 1.2 billion. Under the terms of the agreement with the Princesse Holding consortium, Wataniya’s direct holding in Tunisiana increases to 75% with the Princesse Holding consortium holding the remaining 25%. Wataniya will finance its portion of the transaction with a mixture of existing cash and debt. 

H.E. Sheikh Abdullah al-Thani, Chairman of Qtel, said: “Qtel has consistently and confidently pursued a strategy of actively developing a global portfolio of assets which represent long term value for our shareholders, and this latest agreement is a clear sign of our ongoing success in this area. By further increasing our shareholding in Tunisiana, which has already earned a strong market position , we will be able to ensure that the company advances to the next stage of development, delivering additionalproducts and services for its customers, as well as benefits for all Qtel Group's stakeholders.”

The agreement to purchase the stake in Tunisiana is consistent with the Qtel Group's strategy to be among the top 20 telecommunications companies by 2020.

As part of the acquisition of Wataniya in 2007, Tunisiana has since proven to be an outstanding asset in the Qtel Group portfolio, delivering consistent performance to establish its position as the market leader in the Tunisian market. With today's completion of the agreement with Orascom Telecom, the Qtel Group will now be able to fully consolidate Tunisiana results in 2011, increasing its revenue and EBITDA contribution to total Group results to approximately 10 percent.

With this transaction, Qtel Group consolidates its position as the largest communications Group in the MENA region, with nine controlled operations. The financial realization of the transaction is in course.

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