Etisalat lines up $8bln loan for Vivendi's Maroc stake bid

Abu Dhabi state-owned telecoms company Etisalat has lined up an $8 billion dual-tranche loan facility to finance its bid to acquire Vivendi's stake in Maroc Telecom, bankers working on the deal said.

French media group Vivendi aims to offload its 53 percent holding in the Moroccan firm to help reduce its debt. Two other potential suitors are also fighting over it - state-owned Qatar Telecom and South Korea's KT Corp.

The stake has a market value of around $6 billion, and the winning bidder is expected to eventually make an offer to buy out the minority shareholders, which would add to the purchase price.

Bidders are expected to arrange financing for the stake purchase ahead of making final offers to Vivendi, which are due at the end of April, the sources said.

Etisalat was not immediately available for comment.

The company, working with BNP Paribas as financial adviser, is putting together an $8 billion financing, split equally between a term loan and a bridge loan, which will be refinanced later through a bond sale, three bankers said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Etisalat, the largest telecoms firm in the United Arab Emirates, is rated AA- by Standard & Poor's. Pricing on the loan is in line with the typical level for that rating, one of the bankers said.

Abu Dhabi state investment fund Mubadala, rated one notch higher, last week signed a $2 billion three-year facility, paying 45 basis points over the relevant benchmark.

The telecom company's bid for Maroc Telecom is its first public approach to a foreign company since a $12 billion bid for a controlling stake in Kuwait's Zain failed two years ago.

At that time it agreed on a debt package for the full bid with banks, also split equally between two $3 billion term loans and a $6 billion bridge-to-bond loan, but the seven months of work which bankers put into arranging the finance ultimately went unrewarded.

Separately, Qatar Telecom is also talking to banks about a loan facility to finance its bid for the stake.

KT Corp is being advised by Credit Suisse, Societe Generale and Citigroup Inc on the transaction.

Related:
Topics
Join the Discussion

Disclaimer:The view expressed here by our readers are not necessarily shared by Arabian Business, its employees, sponsors or its advertisers.

Please post responsibly. Commenter Rules

  • No comments yet, be the first!

All comments are subject to approval before appearing

Further reading

Features & Analysis
How technology is revving up the future of driving

How technology is revving up the future of driving

Technology firms have been investing in autonomous driving for...

A printed future: the 3D revolution

A printed future: the 3D revolution

Imagine printing a new house, jewellery, even a healthy heart...

Understanding blockchain and its growing importance in the UAE

Understanding blockchain and its growing importance in the UAE

Project Pen’s John Lillywhite talks to Moe Levin, founder of...

2
Most Discussed
sponsoredTracking