Abu Dhabi grants $500 million for Etisalat’s Maroc deal
Abu Dhabi officials have reportedly given Etisalat a $500 million grant towards its planned acquisition of a 53% stake in Maroc Telecom.
The grant forms part of Etisalat’s $5.64 billion investment in Maroc Telecom, and last week Etisalat submitted a mandatory offer for the remaining shares in the Moroccan operator.
In a document detailing the debt Etisalat took on to complete the deal, the company said: “In connection with the acquisition, the group received an amount of $500 million as a grant from an entity owned by the government of Abu Dhabi.”
The financing highlights Abu Dhabi’s support for foreign expansion, but market watchers claim rivals could argue that the UAE is using its wealth to subsidise state-owned businesses and warp competition.
Etisalat is 60% owned by the UAE and in April, the company told reporters it had signed a €3.15 billion loan to facilitate the acquisition, which involved 17 banks and was split into two phases.