Tunisia's government to fly in consulting firm for Nouvelair sale

26 April 2023 Consultancy.africa 2 min. read

Tunisia’s state-owned investment company, Al Karama, has kicked off the selection process for consultancy firms to manage the divestment of the government’s stake in Nouvelair Group.

According to the Ministry of Transport, the Tunisian state now holds a 23.85 percent stake in Nouvelair and 2.76 percent of Nouvelair Handling.

Airliner Nouvelair operates eleven A320-200s on around 30 domestic routes. The carrier, which initially launched 34 years ago as Air Liberté Tunisie (renamed to Nouvelair in 1996), also flies to destinations in France, Belgium, Germany, and the United Kingdom. Nouvelair Handling is the company’s ground handling company.

Tunisia's government to fly in consulting firm for Nouvelair sale

The sale of shares in Nouvelair Group is part of a wider initiative to raise 656 million dinar ($210 million) through privatisation and the sale of companies confiscated from establishment figures after the country’s Jasmine Revolution in 2011.

Nouvelair and its handling subsidiary were seized from Belhassan Trabelsi, a brother-in-law of former President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, who was toppled in January 2011. The president was deposed after four weeks of protests that sparked the wider Arab Spring movement.

Last week Thursday (April 6), Al Karama called for tenders from international consulting firms to manage the divestment process. The state-owned enterprise is also seeking an investment bank and a law firm to guide the sale.

In a statement, Al Karama invited interested consultancies to obtain the terms of reference for the bid from its Tunis head offices against a non-refundable payment of 300 dinar ($98). The deadline for submission of tenders is Friday, May 12.

In 2022, Nouvelair transported nearly 1.3 million passengers, against 502,000 passengers the year previous.

A recent report from Oliver Wyman suggests that the aviation sector will this year see its passenger numbers return to pre-pandemic levels. Business travel however will remain significantly lower than before the pandemic, owing to the rise of digital ways of collaborating and working.