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Etisalat and Ooredoo confirm binding bids for Maroc Telecom

Two Middle Eastern heavyweight operator groups are bidding for Maroc Telecom. Etisalat and Ooredoo (previously known as Qtel) have confirmed that they will attempt to purchase a majority stake in the Moroccan market leader.

Vivendi, which currently has a majority holding in the operator, confirmed that both operators had lodged a binding offer for the 53% stake, adding that it would “examine the proposals during the coming weeks, in the best interests of both Vivendi and Maroc Telecom shareholders”.

It has long been speculated that the two Middle Eastern groups would attempt to acquire a holding in Maroc Telecom, as both have secured funding for a potential bid. Meanwhile another rumoured buyer, South Korean KT Corp, confirmed earlier this month that it would not lodge a bid.

The sale of the stake, which is worth roughly US$6 billion, is an attempt by Vivendi to reduce its debt. The government of Morocco, which holds a 30% stake in Maroc Telecom, would be required to approve the deal. It is widely expected that the winning bidder will make a buyout offer to the minority shareholders.

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