Etisalat in talks for $8bn Maroc deal loan

Sources says Abu Dhabi telco in discussions to fund bid for 53% stake in Maroc Telecom

Abu Dhabi telco Etisalat is talking to banks about a syndicated loan of up to $8bn to finance a bid for Vivendi's 53 percent stake in Maroc Telecom, banking sources have said.

An $8bn acquisition loan would be the largest Gulf merger and acquisition loan in six years.

Etisalat has asked banks to bid for the roles of M&A and financing advisor, one banker said.

Vivendi is under pressure from shareholders to bolster its flagging share price and from rating agencies to reduce its debt, which stands at 15.7 billion euros.

Etisalat was not immediately available for comment.

The sale has attracted interest from other bidders that are also lining up financing.

Qatar's QTel is talking to its relationship banks, including JP Morgan, about financing for a possible bid for Maroc Telecom, bankers said.

JP Morgan could easily underwrite an acquisition loan, alone or with the support of one or two banks, they said.

South Korean telecoms company KT Corp has lined up Citigroup, Credit Suisse, and Societe Generale to advise and finance a potential acquisition if its bid is successful.

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