Technology company Vivendi announced that they have concluded talks with Etisalat of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in an all-cash deal, which would see it acquire a 53% stake in Maroc Telecom. The deal is reportedly worth $5.6-billion.
“Morocco Telecom notes that Vivendi and Etisalat have signed the final agreement for the sale by Vivendi Etisalat to 53% of the capital of Morocco Telecom. Morocco Telecom and its subsidiaries follow the process to take all steps incumbent on them,” Maroc Telecom said in a short statement.
According to the Financial Times, “the sale finalises an announcement first made in the summer as the heavily indebted French media and telecoms group sells assets to refocus its sprawling business interests on media and entertainment.”
At the end of 2012, Vivendi had a revenue of over €28.994-billion, and is currently the owner of French TV channel and movie producer Canal+ Group, as well as Universal Music Group.
The company sold its controlling stake in games developer Activision in September this year, although it still holds a 12% stake.
The Financial Times also stated that Etisalat has not been without its problems. “The Gulf’s biggest telecoms operator has struggled in recent years, as a multi-billion-dollar foreign investment programme failed to translate into profits and tougher competition in all markets has squeezed profitability. The deal with Vivendi comes two years after Etisalat abandoned talks to buy a $12bn majority stake in Zain, Kuwait’s biggest phone company.”
Charlie Fripp – Consumer Tech editor