Etisalat leads race for Vivendi’s Maroc stake

UAE telco’s bid said to be higher than Ooredoo’s, but burdened by legal clauses

Tags: Emirates Telecommunications Corporation InternationalMaroc TelecomMoroccoOoredoo (www.ooredoo.qa)QatarUnited Arab Emirates
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Etisalat leads race for Vivendi’s Maroc stake Vivendi has asked Etisalat to remove some legal clauses from its bid, according to insiders.
By  Stephen McBride Published  May 26, 2013

The UAE's number-one telecoms operator Etisalat leads the race to acquire Maroc Telecom, having tabled the highest bid for Vivendi's 53% stake in the Moroccan telco, according to a report from Reuters.

Qatar's Ooredoo has also made an offer for Maroc, which is said to be less encumbered with legal conditions than that of Etisalat. Reuters referred to two insiders who said the UAE operator's bid needed adjustment for this reason.

"If Etisalat cleans up its offer, then it wins," said one of the sources, said to be familiar with the bidding process. "If not, it will go to Qatar, who also made an offer that Vivendi can accept."

Both offers are reportedly lower than the EUR5bn ($6.47bn) Vivendi had been hoping for, which would have been a closer match to the EUR4.34bn market value of its Maroc holding. The French conglomerate has, according to the sources, asked Etisalat to remove some legal clauses from its bid, but has not asked for any adjustment from Ooredoo.

Maroc Telecom operates fixed-line, mobile and Internet services in its domestic market and runs opcos in Burkina Faso, Gabon, Mali and Mauritania.

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