Etisalat, the Gulf’s biggest telecommunications operator, has entered exclusive talks with Vivendi to buy the French firm's 53 percent stake in Maroc Telecom for 4.2 billion euros ($5.54bn), it said on Tuesday.
The United Arab Emirates firm, which operates in about 15 countries across the Middle East, Africa and Asia, said the exclusive talks with Vivendi would last until Sept. 25 and that if an agreement was reached, it would have to make an offer to minority shareholders who hold 17 percent of Maroc Telecom.
A potential deal with Vivendi would be Etisalat’s largest acquisition to date.
Etisalat reported a net profit of $539million for the second quarter of 2013, up 6 percent from the prior-year period, it said in a separate statement on the Abu Dhabi bourse.
This was slightly more than forecast by analysts at SICO Bahrain, which had estimated quarterly profit of $522m.
Maroc Telecom, in which Vivendi first bought a stake in 2001, offers fixed-line, mobile and Internet services, and is one of the main telecom operators in Africa with units in Burkina Faso, Gabon, Mali and Mauritania.