Etisalat agrees to acquire Maroc Telecom stake

07 November 2013

Operator is paying €4.2bn for 53 per cent stake

Etisalat has agreed to buy a 53 per cent stake in Maroc Telecom from Vivendi, the UAE-based operator announced.

The €4.2bn ($5.7bn) deal is one of the year’s largest transactions involving a regional company. The sum is based on a valuation of MD7.40 per share.

The two companies have been in exclusive negotiations over the sale since 22 July. Prior to that, Qatar’s Ooredoo expressed interest in the stake, but withdrew its bid in June.

Etisalat’s stake in the Moroccan operator will allow it to strengthen its presence in French-speaking countries in the region, with both running operations in West Africa.

In recent years, Etisalat has sought to expand its global footprint as it faces increased competition in its home markets from newer entrants such as Du.

Not all of its acquisitions abroad have been successful – in India, it was forced to shut down operations after the government cancelled 122 second-generation (2G) mobile licences last year, causing the company more than $1bn in losses.

The Maroc Telecom acquisition, however, signals a more strategic approach to its international expansion and is viewed as a well-priced deal by analysts.

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