KT mulls bid for Moroccan market leader

KT mulls bid for Moroccan market leader

17 DEC 2012

South Korea’s KT is the latest high-profile name to express an interest in buying a majority stake in Morocco’s Maroc Telecom, the country’s largest mobile operator.

Following press speculation last week, KT issued a statement to South Korea’s stock exchange, 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.

Vivendi, which also owns French number-two operator SFR, 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.

According to earlier reports, 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.