Etisalat has announced it has reached a financial agreement with a number of banks worth $5.7 that will enable it acquire 53 percent in Maroc Telecom.
The financing will come in two tranches of $2.9 billion in form of a bridge loan and a three year bullet term loan worth $1.46 billion available to Etisalat once it closes a deal with French group Vivendi's majority stake in the Moroccan operator worth $5.85 billion .
According to Etisalat CEO Ahmad Abdulkarim Julfar the acquisition will help his company cement its position as a lead telecom for the Africa and the Middle East by expanding its "service offering and geographic footprint".
At the same time Etisalat will be selling its operations in French -speaking West Africa to Maroc Telecom in an agreement that will see the latter acquire Atlantique Telecom a subsidiary of Etisalat with operations in Benin, Central African Republic, Gabon, the Ivory Coast, Niger and Togo under the Moov brand.
According to mobileworldlive the agreement also includes Prestige Telecom, an Ivory Coast-based company providing IT services to Etisalat's operations in the region with the total value of the agreement for all seven companies is $650 million.
Experts say that although the assets will add little to Etisalat's bottom line Maroc Telecom could benefit following its prior success with its operations in Gabon, Mali, Burkina Faso and Mauritania.