Etisalat bids for remaining publicly-traded Maroc Telecom shares - Mobile World Live

Etisalat bids for remaining publicly-traded Maroc Telecom shares

21 MAY 2014

Etisalat has bid for the minority shares in Maroc Telecom that it does not already own, following the completion of a deal for it to acquire a majority stake in the company.

The UAE-based operator group closed its acquisition of the 53 per cent stake in Morocco’s largest mobile operator previously held by Vivendi, the French media group, last week. The final purchase price was €4.14 billion.

The move to acquire the remaining shares was expected as local stock market rules state that a company owning more than 40 per cent of another business must bid for the shares it does not already own.

If successful, the new bids would secure the UAE-based operator group an additional 17 per cent stake in Maroc Telecom, taking its total shareholding to 70 per cent.

The Moroccan government holds a 30 per cent stake in the country’s largest mobile operator, which officials told Reuters is not for sale.

The bids for the minority shares were announced by CDVM, the Moroccan stock exchange watchdog, which suspended trading in Maroc Telecom after the minority share bids were received.

The acquisition of the Maroc Telecom stake boosts Etisalat’s position in Africa, where it already has operations in Egypt and Nigeria, among others.

The group announced last week that it would sell operations in French-speaking West Africa to Maroc Telecom for a total of $650 million, with the agreement dependent on the completion of the transaction with Vivendi.

Although no reason was given for the planned transaction, it has been suggested that the operations would benefit from the expertise of Maroc Telecom, which as well as Morocco, has had success with operations in Gabon, Mali, Burkina Faso and Mauritania.

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Tim Ferguson

Tim joined Mobile World Live in August 2011 and works across all channels, with a particular focus on apps. He came to the GSMA with five years of tech journalism experience, having started his career as a reporter... More

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