UAEs Etisalat eyeing Vivendis Maroc Telecom stake

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Maroc Telecom, in which Vivendi first bought a stake in 2001, offers fixed-line, mobile and internet services in the kingdom, and is also one of Africa’s main telecom operators with units in Burkina Faso, Gabon, Mali and Mauritania.

Qatar Telecom, the state-owned operator, has hired J.P. Morgan Chase to advise it on a potential bid for the stake, sources told Reuters in December.

South Korea’s KT Corp is also said to be considering a bid for the unit, which Vivendi hopes will fetch 5.5 billion euros ($7.31 billion), two people familiar with the matter said last month.

Should Etisalat succeed in buying the Maroc Telecom stake it would mark a return to foreign acquisitions for the former monopoly, which spent about $12.6 billion between 2004 and 2009 buying companies, licences and other investments abroad, according to Reuters calculations.

These investments have done little to reduce Etisalat’s reliance on its domestic market, which provided about 74 percent of revenue in 2011 and more than 90 percent of net profits, despite being home to less than 10 percent of the company’s subscribers.

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