Vodafone Mulls $6 Billion Spoiler Bid for Maroc Telecom

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

Flush with expectant cash from the sale of its Verizon stake, Vodafone is reportedly mulling a spoiler bid to buy a majority stake in Maroc Telecom, which is currently up for sale by its parent, France's Vivendi.

Vivendi is currently in long winded talks with Etisalat to sell its 53% stake in the Morocco based telecoms network operator for a price expected to be in the region of US$5.4 billion.

However, Vodafone is now reported to be coming in with a spoiler bid of US$6 billion to snatch the company instead. However, Morocco’s Minister responsible for telecoms said the day after this flyer story that he expected the Etisalat deal to be complete in 1-2 months (see story below).

Vivendi's attempts to sell its stake have proven more difficult than expected after other bidders, including Qatar's Ooredo pulled out of bidding, leaving just Etisalat in the running for the company.

Any buyer of the stake would also have to make an offer to buy out the minority shareholders in the company, which leaves doubt as to how much an eventual purchase could cost the buyer.

The Moroccan government owns 30% of the company, and also have a veto over any major shareholder change.

Vodafone already has exposure in Africa through its 65% stake in Vodacom (South Africa, Tanzania, Lesotho, Mozambique, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo) and a majority stake in its Egyptian subsidiary.