Etisalat takes $4.36bn loan to fund Maroc deal
Acquisition of Vivendi’s 53% stake expected to close this week
UAE operator Etisalat has secured a two-part EUR3.15bn ($4.36bn) debt facility to help fund its purchase of France-based Vivendi's 53% stake in Maroc Telecom, Reuters reported.
The larger part of the loan is a EUR2.1bn one-year bridging facility, priced at 45 basis points above the Euro Interbank Offer Rate (EURIBOR) for the first six months and increasing by 15 basis points in each of the following three months. The second part is a EUR1.05bn three-year loan that charges 87 basis points above EURIBOR.
Etisalat said 17 banks, including UAE institutions and others from across the region and around the world, were financing the facility, which is priced in euros, but can also be accessed in dollars.
Abu Dhabi's sovereign fund will finance a quarter of Etisalat's EUR4.2bn acquisition of the Maroc stake, which leaves Etisalat's contribution at EUR3.15bn. Sources said the deal should close this week.
Commercial regulations in Morocco obligate Etisalat to table a buyout offer for Maroc Telecom's minority stakeholders, which can be a different price per share than that reflected in the stake purchase.
Aside from the 53% Vivendi stake, the Moroccan government owns 30% of Maroc Telecom, leaving 17% in the hands of other minority shareholders.
Maroc's annual profit dropped 17% to MAD5.54bn ($682.78m) in 2013. The former monopoly also runs operations in Gabon, Mauritania, Burkina Faso and Mali.