Etisalat to sell west African operations to Maroc Telecom

06 May 2014 | Sophie Donoghue

Etisalat is set to sell its operations in six West African countries to Maroc Telecom as it combines assets before completing its acquisition of the Moroccan operator.

The transaction will see Maroc Telecom acquire Etisalat's stakes in a number of African mobile networks in Benin, the Central African Republic, Gabon, Ivory Coast, Niger and Togo, in a $650 million deal, which is subject to the completion of the Maroc Telecom acquisition.

The UAE-based operator is acquiring a 53% stake in Maroc Telecom from France's Vivendi for a reported €4.2 billion, in a deal which was concluded in November last year.

The acquisition will see Etisalat take control of the largest wireless carrier in Morocco.

French telecoms company Vivendi opted to sell off its stake in the Moroccan operator in an effort to decrease its net debt, which stood at €13.4 billion last year.

In April this year, Etisalat signed a €3.15 billion loan to facilitate its acquisition the Maroc Telecom stake.