Middle East operator groups Etisalat and Ooredoo (formerly known as Qtel) have lodged bids to acquire a majority stake in Maroc Telecom, Morocco’s number-one operator, the Financial Times reports.
An official statement from Vivendi, the owner of a majority 53 per cent stake, said it had received two binding offers and “will examine the proposals during the coming weeks, in the best interests of both Vivendi and Maroc Telecom shareholders”.
South Korea’s KT Corp dropped out of the running earlier this month citing a discrepancy between its own valuation of the stake and “that of the market and sell-side”.
Vivendi, which also owns French operator SFR, has been looking to sell its stake in Maroc Telecom in order to reduce its debt. The stake is valued at around $6 billion, with the winning bidder also expected to make an offer to buy out minority shareholders.
If Vivendi chooses to accept one of the offers, the deal will also need approval from Morocco’s government, which owns a 30 per cent stake.
Maroc Telecom is Morocco’s biggest operator, with around 17.9 million connections, compared with Meditel’s 11.6 million, according to Wireless Intelligence.