South Korea’s KT has submitted a letter of intent for the potential purchase of a majority stake in Maroc Telecom, Morocco’s largest mobile operator.
A spokesman for the South Korean operator today told Dow Jones Newswires that it had submitted the letter.
Last month KT issued a statement to South Korea’s stock exchange expressing interest in a stake purchase, without name-checking Maroc Telecom specifically. “We are considering taking a stake in a Moroccan telecoms operator, but nothing has been decided yet,” KT said at the time.
French conglomerate Vivendi is looking to sell its 53 percent stake in the Moroccan market leader as part of a strategic review – and is reportedly looking to raise as much as EUR5 billion from a sale.
In addition to KT, other operator groups thought to be interested in acquiring the stake include Qatar’s Qtel, UAE-based Etisalat, Saudi Telecom and South Africa’s MTN.
It is understood that Vivendi wants to sign a deal before the end of Q1 2013, although any sale would need the approval of the Kingdom of Morocco which owns a separate 30 percent stake in the firm.
Vivendi first bought a stake in Maroc Telecom in 2001 and the North African company is now its second-biggest division. As well as Morocco, the company also operates in Burkina Faso, Gabon, Mali and Mauritania.
However, Maroc Telecom has struggled in recent years with increasing competition and had to make around 800 employees redundant in July.