Etisalat, the Gulf’s biggest telecommunications operator, has entered exclusive talks with Vivendi to buy the French firm’s 53 per cent stake in Maroc Telecom for 4.2 billion euros ($5.54 billion), 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 were reached, it would have to make an offer to minority shareholders who hold 17 per cent of Maroc Telecom.
A potential deal with Vivendi would be Etisalat’s largest acquisition to date.
Etisalat reported a net profit of Dhs1.98 billion ($539 million) for the second quarter of 2013, up six per cent 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 Dhs1.92 billion.
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.