S.Korea's KT bids for Tunisie Telecom

SEOUL, Sept 17 Mon Sep 16, 2013 7:28pm EDT

SEOUL, Sept 17 (Reuters) - South Korean telecoms operator KT Corp said on Tuesday it is in the early stage of talks to buy a 35-percent stake in state-owned Tunisie Telecom from a conglomerate owned by Dubai's ruler, joining about 10 other bidders.

KT's bid comes after the firm had withdrawn from the bidding for Vivendi's 53 percent stake in Maroc Telecom earlier this year, as the South Korean firm seeks to expand overseas faced with saturated growth in the home market.

"The talks are still in the early stage and nothing has been decided yet," KT said in a statement after a newspaper report on its interest in the firm.

In June, Tunisia said 13 companies including Abu Dhabi-based Estisalat and Turkey's Turkcell had expressed interest in buying the stake.

Dubai Holding's arm, Emirates International Telecommunications LLC, is offering the stake, which it bought for $2.25 billion in 2006, as it seeks to reduce debt. J.P. Morgan Chase valued it at $650 million in July. (Reporting by Miyoung Kim; Editing by Stephen Coates)

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