Etisalat offloads African operations to Maroc Telecom

Emirates-based Etisalat has signed an agreement to sell its holdings in Benin, the Central African Republic, Gabon, the Ivory Coast, Niger and Togo, to Maroc Telecom for $650m. The units all operate under the Moov brand but the agreement also covers Ivory Coast-based IT services provider Prestige Telecom.

The deal forms part of Etisalat’s acquisition of Vivendi’s 53 per cent stake in Maroc Telecom. Last week Etisalat announced that it had secured funding to buy the French firm out of Maroc Telecom.

The move will give Etisalat control over Maroc Telecom and will put an end to a long winded battle for the operator that has seen several operators vying for control of the company including Ooredoo, France Telecom, Qatari operator Qtel and South Korea’s KT Corp.

Maroc Telecom, a publicly listed company on both the Casablanca and Euronext Paris Stock Exchanges, is Morocco’s market leading operator with over 18.2 million subscribers in Morocco at the end of December, according to Informa’s WCIS. It also has international operations in four West African countries.

Etisalat said the funds totalling €3.15bn were raised with a group of 17 international, regional and local banks in the United Arab Emirates.

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