JP Morgan to guide Qtel on Maroc bid

Qatar operator poised to grab Vivendi’s 53% stake in major African player

Tags: Maroc TelecomMoroccoQatarQatar TelecomVivendi
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JP Morgan to guide Qtel on Maroc bid Qtel has established itself in more than 16 markets in the past decade.
By  Stephen McBride Published  December 9, 2012

Qatar's state-controlled operator Qtel has retained JP Morgan Chase as advisor for the telco's planned bid for Vivendi's share of Maroc Telecom, Reuters reported, citing four unnamed sources.

UAE-based Etisalat, Saudi Telecom, and South Africa's MTN have also expressed interest for Morocco's top fixed and mobile operator, Reuters reported in October.

French conglomerate Vivendi hopes to raise $7.14bn for its 53% stake in Maroc as part of an asset-selling strategy designed to reduce its debt and lift its share price while reducing the group's exposure to the capital-intensive telecoms sector.

Maroc is a major mover in the African coms market, offering fixed-line, mobile and Internet services and running operations in Burkina Faso, Gabon, Mali and Mauritania.

Vivendi first bought a share in Maroc in 2001 and it has become the French firm's second-largest division. Below-par performance in a competitive market has led to anaemic growth in recent years, culminating in 800 redundancies in July.

Qtel has established itself in more than 16 markets in the past decade and this year spent almost $4bn in taking controlling share of Iraqi unit Asiacell and Kuwaiti arm Wataniya in separate deals.

The kingdom of Morocco, which owns a 30% stake in Maroc, would need to approve any sale of the operator.

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