French conglomerate Vivendi has extended the period of exclusive negotiations with the UAE’s Etisalat over the acquisition of a majority stake in Morocco’s Maroc Telecom until 31 October.

In July, Etisalat made a binding offer of €3.9bn ($5.5bn) for the 53 per cent stake in the Moroccan operator.

Since then, negotiations have been ongoing over the conditions related to the offer, including details about the types of partners that need to be involved in the acquisition, as well as competition and regulatory approvals that would need to be introduced in Morocco and the other jurisdictions Maroc Telecom operates in.

Etisalat’s bid is based on a valuation of MD92.6 ($10.9) a share, slightly lower than the share price Maroc Telecom has been trading at for the past few months. The offer signals a shift in the UAE operator’s acquisition strategy, after it overpaid for several deals in the past.