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Thu 8 May 2014 12:13 PM

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UAE's Etisalat expects to close Maroc Telecom deal on May 14

Telco has agreed to pay €4.2bn ($5.8bn) for the stake

UAE's Etisalat expects to close Maroc Telecom deal on May 14

Etisalat expects to complete its purchase of 53 percent of Maroc Telecom from France's Vivendi on May 14, the United Arab Emirates operator said on Thursday.

Etisalat has agreed to pay €4.2bn ($5.8bn) for the stake.

Following the conclusion of that deal, Etisalat will sell its West African busineses to Maroc Telecom.

Earlier this week, it was reported Abu Dhabi's Etisalat has signed a two-part AED3.15bn ($4.36bn) facility to help fund the acquisition, the Gulf telecom operator said in a bourse statement.

The bulk of the facility is a AED2.1bn one-year bridge loan, which is priced at EURIBOR plus 45 basis points for the first six months. This then increases by 15 basis points in each of the following three months.

The second tranche is a AED1.05bn three-year loan priced at 87 basis points above EURIBOR.

Although Etisalat priced the loans in euros, they can also be utilised in dollars, the statement said, adding 17 local, regional and international banks were financing the facility.

On Sunday, Reuters reported that an Abu Dhabi state-owned fund would finance a quarter of the acquisition.

Morocco's takeover rules require Etisalat to make a buyout offer for Maroc Telecom's minority shareholders. Etisalat has declined to provide further details, but analysts say Morocco regulations allow buyers to offer minority shareholders a different price per share to the principle deal itself.

The government owns 30 percent of Maroc Telecom, with the remaining 17 percent the company's free float.

Former monopoly Maroc Telecom, whose annual profit fell 17 percent to 5.54bn Moroccan dirhams ($682.78m) last year, also has operations in Gabon, Mauritania, Burkina Faso and Mali.

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