MOROCCO TO SELL ITS SHARE IN MAROC TELECOM BEFORE 2007

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

Morocco intends to sell the rest of its share in Maroc Telecom Company, which amounts to 34%, towards the end of this year, reported Reuters, based on a document released by the Ministry of Finance and Privatisation.

The document, issued on July 11, stated that the bargain comes within the framework of reviving the privatization process of 2005-2006, without going into details.

The information was confirmed by reliable sources in the Ministry. They added that “selling the rest of Morocco's share of Maroc Telecom, of which Vivendi Universal hold 51%, is a fact.” According to the same sources there is a “governmental programme of privatization,” which includes Maroc Telecom. And this “decision does not pose any legal problem.”

A senior official told Reuters that “the process of selling is underway, but the bargain will not be concluded before 2007.”

According to an economic analyst, the proclamation of the step so early is due to the government's intention to speed up privatization so as to provide financial resources that can finance the pressing economic reform, especially after the announcement of HM Mohammed VI's Human Development Initiative.

What backs up this trend, according to observers, is that the government intends to sell the rest of its shares in other institutions, such as the tobacco company, 80% of which was ceded to Altadis France, for MAD 4.08 million. The programme includes completely selling the Moroccan Company of Tea and Sugar. Vivendi Universal has already paid $2.2 Billion, in 2002, buying a share that amounts to 35% of the company. Last November it paid $1.45 billion for another 16%, thereby gaining control of the company.

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