Etisalat ups Maroc Telecom stake with $505m acquisition

Etisalat ups Maroc Telecom stake with $505m acquisition

Etisalat Group has taken a 53% indirect majority holding in Morocco’s Maroc Telecom.

The operator group spent US$505 million to acquire the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development’s 8.7% stake in the holding firm EINA (Etisalat Investment North Africa). While Etisalat noted that this sum was “subject to change according to prevailing market conditions such as foreign exchange rates prior to the transaction completion”, it now effectively owns 100% of EINA.

EINA holds a stake in Maroc Telecom through holding firm Societe de Participation dans les Telecommunication (SPT), reports TeleGeography. Through the deal, Etisalat has increased its effective ownership of Maroc Telecom from 48.4% to a majority 53% holding. Etisalat stated that it will finance the acquisition through bank loans.

“This will positively impact Etisalat Group’s consolidated net profits due to lower minority interest of group consolidated results and potentially increase future dividends from Maroc Telecom Group,” said Karim Bennis, chief financial officer of Etisalat Group.

Maroc Telecom leads the Moroccan market by some distance with almost 20 million subscribers. In addition to its home market, the group has operations in 10 markets across West Africa.