The “National Committee on the management of funds and property concerned by seizure or retrieval for the benefit of the State, which is its official name, has just launched a series of consultations.
These consultations, under specifications, aim to select multi-profile consultants to be responsible for assessing the property already seized and to be offered for sale. These properties number 30, grouped in three lots, each to be evaluated by a separate firm.
Thus, no less than 13 real estate development companies and the same number of agricultural development and tourism companies will be proposed for assessment and then for sale. They are, by sector, the following companies:
The sale of all seized businesses after the evaluation, which should be completed by next September, should be made before the end of 2012. The procedure chosen will be the national tender. According to experts, all these companies should bring in to the state more than 300 MTD.
Tunisiana, BT and Ennakl, tempting jackpots
Another lot, however, captures more attention. It does not contain many businesses, but should yield alone, the 1,200 MTD sought by the Government of Jebali which is in urgent need to feed this year’s economic budget.
This lot covers three companies, the “Banque de Tunisie” where the state has seized 13% of the capital that were directly and indirectly in the hands of Belhassen Trabelsi, Tunisiana where the Tunisian state has confiscated the 25% of Sakhr El Materi and Ennakl where the state has confiscated 59% of El Materi too.
For these three companies, the Tunisian Government seems to have already chosen to avoid the cumbersome procedures of the Exchange, since time does not allow waiting to sell and prepare and launch tenders.
For BT, an international tender, the widest possible, will be launched after evaluation, to allow a sale of which the Tunisian state could draw at least 200 MTD, if we know that the value during the day of the 13% of BT is of some 150 MTD.
For Ennakl, Volkswagen dealer, multi-brand company listed on the stock markets of Tunis and Casablanca, Morocco, the Tunisian government, which will begin soon evaluation works by specialized firms, still vacillates between three procedures. The first will be to proceed with a national tender, the second to launch an international tender and the third to make a mix allowing the formation of consortia. The concession, being a business, the mix should, however, compel the Tunisian side to take 40% of 59% to be sold and leave only 19% to the foreign party that would stand for the tender. This procedure should help divert the obligation that could lawfully be imposed on any foreign party to have the merchant card on Tunisian territory. The amount of the sale will also take into account, in net contribution to the Tunisian government, business loans from the banking sector.
For Tunisiana, the most attractive and easier lot, there would be a decision of international tender where the Tunisian government hopes to gain at least the amount of one billion TD (350 MTD off credits according to our information). The profits of the company, its latest 3G license and its dominant position in the mobile telephony market in Tunisia, should facilitate this sale with that amount. Another company would also be part, according to reports, to this latest lot. It would be the International School of Carthage and we are told, the government, would expect to draw about 5 MTD.
Ahmed Abdelkefi at the head of the Holding of the Tunisian State
This is for now, according to our information, all that the Tunisian government has decided to sell. Some data suggest the Zitouna bank and 25% of the Tunisian stakes of Orange confiscated from Cyrine Ben Ali. We received unconfirmed information about “unofficial contacts” made by parties close to the Tunisian government, to see the desirability and feasibility of a possible takeover by France Telecom of the 25%.”
Zitouna bank should, on the contrary, stay in the wallet of the Tunisian state. The latter had already decided to create a Holding of the Tunisian State. A statement from the Ministry of Finance released Thursday, June 7, 2012 referred to this establishment which will be a subsidiary of the Consignment and Deposit Fund.
The Holding will group the remaining stakes seized, in addition to the Zitouna Bank for which timing is not yet conducive to selling. The Holding, whose president was already chosen in the person of Ahmed Abdelkefi, pending the appointment of an Executive DG who will assist him, will also manage in real independent companies, all other equity, provided that the government appoints at their heads competent and not only partisan and obedient persons.