QATAR. Princesse Holding Group and Qatar Telecom (Qtel) announced today the finalisation 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 additional products 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%.
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.
Qatar Telecom (Qtel) provides a full range of telecommunications services in Qatar and across its presence in 17 countries. Our vision is to be among the top 20 telecommunications companies in the world by 2020 through expansion in both the MENA region and South East Asia.
Princesse Holding Group is a Tunisian diversified holding company with strategic investments in a variety of growth sectors benefiting from the ongoing development of the Tunisian economy. The Group’s existing asset base includes investments in car distribution, cruise tourism, real estate, press, media, financial services, and agriculture.
The company was founded in 2004 by Tunisian businessman, Mohamed Sakher El Materi and is based in Tunis, Tunisia.
Tunisiana has been one of the market leading mobile telecoms providers in Tunisia since 2008 with over 5.7 million subscribers as of September 30, 2010. Orascom and Wataniya Telecom were jointly awarded the licence to manage Tunisia’s second GSM mobile operator, Tunisiana, in 2002. Qtel acquired a majority shareholding in Wataniya Telecom in 2007.