Having successfully closed a deal to acquire a majority stake in Maroc Telecom, Etisalat is now bidding for the remaining publicly-traded shares in the Moroccan operator.
The UAE-based telecom giant bought the 53% stake in Maroc Telecom from French group Vivendi last week for €4.14 billion. The rules of the local stock market stipulate that a company with a stake of over 40% in another firm must attempt to acquire the remaining shares.
The remaining publicly-traded stake represents 17% of Maroc Telecom. If Etisalat’s bid is successful, it would therefore hold 70% of the Moroccan operator. The remaining 30% stake is held by the Moroccan government and is not for sale.
Etisalat has an established presence in Africa, including Egypt and Nigeria, and its acquisition of Maroc Telecom will strengthen this. It is selling its West African units to Maroc Telecom for $650 million – this deal was dependent on Etisalat procuring Vivendi’s stake.
While no official reason has been given for this transaction, Maroc Telecom has had success in other areas of Africa including Burkina Faso, Gabon, Mali and Mauritania, so its expertise could be advantageous to Etisalat’s French-speaking West African businesses.