Etisalat talking to banks about Maroc Telecom bid

Etisalat talking to banks about Maroc Telecom bid

18 FEB 2013

UAE-based operator group Etisalat is talking to banks about a syndicated loan of up to $8 billion to fund a bid for the 53 per cent stake in Maroc Telecom being sold by Vivendi, Reuters reports.

Banking sources said the company has also asked banks to bid for the roles of M&A and financing adviser.

The loan would be the largest made to a Gulf-based company in the past six years.

Qatar’s Qtel has also been linked with the Maroc Telecom stake, and has reportedly been talking to JP Morgan about financing for a possible bid.

South Korea’s KT meanwhile, is said to be working with Citigroup, Credit Suisse and Societe Generale.

Saudi Telecom and South Africa’s MTN have also been linked with the stake.

Media group Vivendi is looking to sell its stake in Maroc Telecom as it responds to pressure from shareholders to boost its share prices and reduce its debt.

The company is believed to want a deal before the end of the first quarter of 2013, although any sale would need the approval of the Kingdom of Morocco, which owns a 30 per cent stake in the operator.

Vivendi is also working with Deutsche Bank and Rotshchild to find a buyer for its GVT fixed-lined business in Brazil and has warned of “drastic” changes at its French operator SFR.

Maroc Telecom is Morocco’s biggest operator, with around 17.4 million connections, compared with Meditel’s 11.4 million. It is Vivendi’s second highest contributor to earnings after French operator SFR, but growth has slowed as competition has ramped up.

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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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