French media conglomerate Vivendi has signed a definitive agreement with UAE-based telecoms group Etisalat for the sale of its controlling 53% stake in Moroccan telco Maroc Telecom for EUR4.2 billion (USD5.67 billion). Under the terms set out by the agreement, Etisalat will pay Vivendi EUR3.9 billion for the stake, in addition to EUR300 million in Maroc Telecom’s 2012 dividends. The deal, which is expected to be concluded in early 2014, is subject to customary regulatory approvals.
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, in July 2013 Vivendi entered into exclusive negotiations with Etisalat for the sale of Morocco’s leading telco. Vivendi Universal holds 53% of Maroc Telecom via its wholly owned subsidiary Societe de Participation dans les Telecommunications. Meanwhile, 30% of the company is owned by the local government, and the remainder of the shares are floated on the local bourse. The Moroccan government requested that Etisalat should take on a local partner in order to gain approval for its bid; sources familiar with the matter also revealed that the mandate for Etisalat to find a local ally was reportedly the reason behind the prolonged acquisition process.