Vivendi Completes $5.8 Billion Sale of Maroc Telecom to Etisalat

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

France's Vivendi has completed the long running attempt to sell its 53% stake in Maroc Telecom to Etisalat.

The final price came in at EUR4.14 billion -- which is compared to the EUR4.2 billion (USD5.8 billion) that the companies originally said the deal would be worth.

However, that figure does not include the USD650 million that Maroc Telecom has just spent buying a number of Etisalat subsidiaries -- so the net cost to Etisalat is about USD300 million lower than originally expected.

In addition, Etisalat is due to receive EUR507 million in dividend payments from Maroc Telecom, payable next month.

Etisalat agreed to buy the 53% stake in the Moroccan mobile network from France's Vivendi last November following a protracted bidding process, but completion has taken longer than expected.

The sale of Maroc Telecom is part of the Group's strategy to refocus on and develop its media and content businesses.

Jean-René Fourtou, Chairman of Vivendi's Supervisory Board and Vice-Chairman of Maroc Telecom's Supervisory Board, said: "A new chapter is being written today by Vivendi as we aim to grow in media and content. I welcome the recent agreement with Etisalat allowing Maroc Telecom to deploy its activities in nine African countries."

Etisalat has also previously said that local regulations could require it to offer to also buy out the minority shareholders, so it could end up with more than the 53% being sold by Vivendi.

Etisalat now owns 53% of Maroc Telecom, with 17% listed on a local stock market. The remaining 30% is owned by the government which also has a veto over any change in ownership.

Maroc Telecom has operations in Gabon, Mauritania, Burkina Faso and Mali, and recently acquired Etisalat's stakes in its subsidiaries located in Benin, Central African Republic, Ivory Coast, Gabon, Niger and Togo.