News Column

Etisalat Secures ?3.15 Billion Loan to Buy Vivendi

April 29, 2014

Nume Ekeghe with Agency Report

Emirates Telecommunications Corporation, Etisalat has signed a E3.15 billion ($4.36 billion) deal with 17 banks to fund its acquisition of Vivendi SA (VIV)'s stake in Maroc Telecom.

The funding includes a 12-month bridge loan of E2.1 billion priced at 45 basis points above the Euro interbank offered rate, rising to 60 basis points above Euribor after six months, Bloomberg quoted the company to have said in a statement yesterday.

Etisalat, which has a market value of 90 billion dirhams, also signed a three-year E1.05 billion loan priced at 87 basis points above Euribor.

Telecommunications companies in the Middle East are expanding abroad as domestic growth slows.

Etisalat agreed in November to buy Vivendi's 53 percent stake in Maroc Telecom, Morocco's biggest wireless carrier, for about 4.2 billion euros.

The deal, which will be completed at the end of May, Etisalat's Chief Financial Officer, Serkan Okandan said, would increase the company's presence in Africa beyond its Egypt and Nigeria units.

The Moroccan company, whose annual profit fell 17 percent to 5.54 billion Moroccan dirhams ($682.78 million) last year, has operations in Gabon, Mauritania, Burkina Faso and Mali.

The company which has its presence in 10 African countries would increase its presence to operate in 14 countries with the acquisition, is still behind MTN group which has its presence in 21 African countries and Airtel Africa which has its presence in 17 countries.

Reuters also stated that Etisalat to have made a buyout offer for Maroc Telecom's minority shareholders in which the company declined to provide further details, but analysts said that the Moroccan regulations allow buyers to offer minority shareholders a different price per share to the principle deal itself.

The government owns 30 per cent of Maroc Telecom, with the remaining 17 per cent on the company's free float.

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Source: AllAfrica

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