Twelve local, regional and international companies purchased the documents when the tender was issued in July. They included the first private local GSM operator Meditelecom, local finance house Upline Securities, leading private conglomerate ONA and state railway company ONCF.

Among the international companies to consider bidding were Bahrain Telecommunications Company (Batelco), Telecom Egypt Data and PricewaterhouseCoopers. Jordan’s Atlas Group also bought the dossier (MEED 20:9:02).

Morocco’s telecoms sector hit the headlines in July 1999 when the first private GSM licence was sold to Meditelecom for a record $1,100 million. The following year, a 35 per cent stake in state operator Maroc Telecom was sold to Vivendi Universal for $2,130 million (MEED 5:1:01).