Etisalat bids for remaining Maroc Telecom shares

United Arab Emirates-based Etisalat has made an offer for the remaining shares in Maroc Telecom just a week after completing the purchase of Vivendi's 53 per cent stake in the Moroccan company for €4.14 billion ($5.7 billion).

In a statement, Maroc Telecom said Etisalat has filed a mandatory public tender offer for shares comprising the free float of Maroc Telecom with the Moroccan securities regulator (CDVM). Details such as the offer price have not been revealed, however.

"The CDVM has suspended trading in Maroc Telecom on the Casablanca Stock Exchange and NYSE Euronext Paris to allow within the regulatory time limit the assessment of the admissibility of the offer," the company said.

Morocco regulations state that an acquiring company must offer to buy out minority shareholders if it owns 40 per cent or more of the voting rights of the company.

When it completed the acquisition of Vivendi's 53 per cent stake in Maroc Telecom last week, Etisalat said it would start to consolidate Maroc Telecom and its subsidiaries from May 2014.

Earlier in May, Etisalat agreed to sell its stakes in its French-speaking West Africa operations to Maroc Telecom for $650 million (€473 million) in order to consolidate control of the West Africa operations and benefit from Maroc Telecom's experience in this market.

For Vivendi, the closing of the deal meant that the French group is coming closer to its goal of offloading its telecoms assets in order to focus on its media business; it has also agreed to sell its French telecoms unit SFR to Altice and Numericable.

For more:
- see this Maroc Telecom release

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