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VENTURES AFRICA – After months of negotiations, debt-laden media conglomerate, Vivendi has finally agreed to sell its 53 percent stake in Maroc Telecom to UAE’s Etisalat for 4.2 billion euros ($5.67 billion), offering the French company a window to focus on its TV and music business.
Etisalat will pay Vivendi 3.9 billion Euros ($5.2 billion) for the stake, with an additional 300 million Euros ($402.5 million) accruing from Maroc’s 2012 dividends, making it the Arab company’s largest takeover in a decade.
From 2004 to 2009, the telecom company spent a total of $12.6 billion foreign acquisitions.
The acquisition will give Etisalat control over the largest wireless carrier in Morocco, and increase its footprint in sub-Saharan Africa once finalized in 2014.
According to Consultants BuddeCom, Morocco is one of Africa’s most developed telecom markets, with 120 percent mobile penetration, three fixed-line and mobile providers offering some of the lowest broadband prices on the continent.
A Reuters report quotes Etisalat as saying it will make Maroc Telecom the flagship of its African operations..
UAE’s largest telecom company by market value, the mobile operator currently has operations in about 15 countries in the Middle East, Asia and Africa.