Etisalat declares interest in Vivendi’s Maroc Telecom stake
UAE-based Etisalat Group has confirmed its interest in Vivendi’s 53% stake in Maroc Telecom.
The company said in a statement today that it had submitted a preliminary expression of interest to acquire the holding.
“Etisalat’s interest in Maroc Telecom is consistent with our stated strategy of selective expansion in our core MENA markets and would complement our existing operations in sub-Saharan Africa,” the company added in the statement.
The bid places Etisalat in competition with Korea’s KT Corp with reports also linking Qtel and France Telecom to the operator. Analysts suggest the stake could potentially be worth €5.5 billion.
Maroc Telecom’s other major shareholder is the Moroccan government, which would need to approve any sale.
Vivendi announced yesterday that it had agreed with the government to invest the equivalent of €900 million over the next two years to upgrade Maroc Telecom’s network infrastructure and install fibre-optic cable across the country.
It is likely that the successful bidder would have to agree to honour this contract.