DUBAI/LONDON Feb 25 Etisalat, the
United Arab Emirates' biggest telecommunications operator, has
hired banks to advise on its planned acquisition of Vivendi's
53 percent stake in Maroc Telecom, banking
sources aware of the matter said.
The state-controlled firm picked BNP Paribas and
Morocco's Attijariwafa Bank as financial advisers, the
sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity as the matter
has not been made public.
A spokesman for Etisalat declined to comment.
Vivendi, the French media, entertainment and telecoms
conglomerate, is looking to sell several assets as part of an
overhaul aimed at cutting debt and reducing its exposure to the
capital-intensive telecoms business.
Its majority stake in Maroc Telecom is worth about $6
billion on current market value, and a potential buyer for the
stake would also be expected to make a mandatory offer to
minority shareholders, further boosting the takeover price.
Etisalat is talking to banks about a syndicated loan of up
to $8 billion to finance the potential transaction, banking
sources told Reuters Loan and Pricing Corp earlier in February.
Other bidders for the stake include Gulf operator Qatar
Telecom (Qtel) and South Korean telecoms company KT
Qtel has hired J.P. Morgan Chase Inc as adviser,
while KT Corp picked Citigroup Inc, Credit Suisse
and Societe Generale to advise and finance a
potential transaction, according to sources familiar with the
Maroc Telecom has majority stakes in Gabon Telecom,
Mauritania's MaurieTel, Burkina Faso's Onatel and
It posted a 17 percent drop in 2012 net profit, citing
restructuring charges and a non-recurring contribution to the
government. Morocco is expected to retain its 30 percent holding
in Maroc Telecom.
(Editing by Andrew Torchia)