The interim government of Tunisia has confiscated the 51% stake in Orange Tunisia held by members of overthrown president Ben Ali's family via the Investec Group.
After first freezing the Orange assets of Ben Ali's son-in-law, Marwan Moubrouk, along with those of his ex-wife and upward of 100 assorted friends and family, the new government has decided to confiscate the shares and set up an inquiry to try and work out what should be done with them. The commission has six months to reach a conclusion.
It is rumoured that France Telecom may be encouraged to purchase the outstanding shares, although this would necessitate a change in the current foreign direct investment (FDI) laws.
Orange Tunisia launched its wireless network in May last year and by the end of December had garnered 1.17 million subscribers, to give it a 9% share of the market.