Etisalat reported flat first-quarter profit and weaker margins, as the Dubai-based company was widely reported to be on the brink of offering to buy Vivendi's stake in Maroc Telecom.
Reuters reported that Etisalat, which operates in 15 countries across the Middle East, Africa and Asia, made a net profit of €383 million in the first quarter, compared with a profit of €378 million in the year-ago period.
The day after it reported its first-quarter results, reports said Etisalat was lining up a binding offer for Vivendi's 53 per cent stake in Maroc Telecom by the deadline on Wednesday, as the French group looks to offload various telecommunications assets. The stake has a current market value of around €4.6 billion.
Reuters reported that the UAE company has previously secured a $8 billion (€6.14 billion) loan to finance the deal, which may also involve the acquisition of a larger stake as Morocco rules require the company to make an offer to minority shareholders.
Ooredoo, formerly Qatar Telecom, is also reported to be very interested in the Maroc Telecom stake; reports have said the company has secured funding of $12 billion for this purpose.
KT Corp and France Telecom have also previously expressed preliminary interest, but KT Corp recently dropped out.
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