Etisalat talks to buy Maroc Tel stake extended
Dubai, September 29, 2013
UAE's leading telecom services operator Etisalat said that its exclusive talks to buy Vivendi's 53 per cent stake in Maroc Telecom have been extended to October 31.
Vivendi in July had entered into exclusive negotiations with the UAE's former telecom monopoly to sell its majority holding stake in Maroc Telecom for 3.9 billion euros ($5.28 billion) in cash.
The previous deadline for these exclusive talks to end was September 25, but has now been extended to October 31, according to an Etisalat statement. The statement did not say why talks were extended or at which party's behest.
Morocco's government owns 30 per cent of Maroc Telecom, with the remaining 17 per cent publicly traded.
On September 11, Morocco's Minister Saadeddine Othmani told reporters that "We have agreed on all main terms and a deal may be finalised in one to two months."
Etisalat's statement on Sunday struck a more cautious tone, saying a final agreement was subject to "execution of a shareholders' agreement with the Kingdom of Morocco regarding Maroc Telecom, and securing competition and regulatory approvals in Morocco in addition to certain other jurisdictions in Maroc Telecom's footprint."
Maroc Telecom offers fixed-line, mobile and Internet services in the kingdom and is one of Africa's biggest telecom firms, with units in Burkina Faso, Gabon, Mali and Mauritania.
Vivendi's planned Maroc Telecom sale is a step in the conglomerate's attempt to remake itself as a media-focused company.-Reuters