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Published on 24 April 2014

Orange Tunisie: the poker match

Orange Tunisie : the poker match

Ben Ali’s son in law, Marouane Mabrouk, is pulling out all the stops to keep control of Orange Tunisie, local subsidiary of the French telecommunications giant, Orange. Before the revolution, he and his wife, Cyrine Ben Ali, had a 51% holding in the company, and, over the last few months, he has been engaged in a tug of war with Al-Karama, the state holding company which manages the companies confiscated from the Ben Ali clan. Marouane Mabrouk is currently winning on points after an interim court ruling authorised him to take back control of the group on February 11 but this legal imbroglio can be expected to continue for a long time yet.

For its part, Orange has brought out the heavy artillery to try and regain control of its Tunisian subsidiary. For a time, it was planning to propose that the company be dissolved at the general assembly on April 25 before, finally, deciding not to adopt this course. Beyond this duel for control of Orange Tunisie, however, there are questions about the very existence of the company in the future. The Tunisian government is less and less convinced that there is room for three operators in the country and could consider merging Orange Tunisie with Tunisie Telecom.

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