Qatar’s Ooredoo waiting for final answer on Maroc stake

Nasir Maarifiya, Ooredoo’s CEO, tells Al Arabiya that his company is waiting for Vivendi to officially sell its stake in Morocco’s Maroc Telecom. (Al Arabiya)

State-owned Qatar telecom, Ooredo, is waiting for a reply after finalizing talks to acquire Vivendi’s stake in Morocco’s Maroc Telecom, Nasir Maarifiya, the company’s CEO, told Al Arabiya in an interview on Saturday.

Maarifiya described the package offered to Vivendi as “comprehensive,” and said his company is now waiting for an official reply. The executive was speaking on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Jordan.

Ooredo’s regional rival, the UAE telecom firm, Etisalat, also bid in April to buy Vivendi’s 53 percent stake in Maroc, but there was no official announcement to cap off the deal.

Potential bidders need to show they can come up with cash to cover the $6 billion market value of the stake, as well as fund the buy-out option which minority shareholders must be offered.

The CEO said his company can offer $12 billion in fund if the government of Morocco is also interested to sell its stake. The Moroccan government owns a 30 percent stake in Maroc Telecom.

Previously, the credit rating agency Standards and Poor warned Ooredoo that it can be potentially downgraded over its huge $12 billion offered.

The CEO, meanwhile, said the company has studied different ways of funding and that the company can go on with the deal without being downgraded.

In a related story, Qatari company is an expansion mode in Asia. The CEO said Ooredoo has purchased a license from Myanmar’s telecom company.

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Last Update: Sunday, 26 May 2013 KSA 08:15 - GMT 05:15
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