UAE's Etisalat signs $4.36bn loan to fund Maroc Telecom stake

Sources said the deal to acquire a 53% stake in the telco should close this week
UAE's Etisalat signs $4.36bn loan to fund Maroc Telecom stake
By Reuters
Mon 28 Apr 2014 10:06 AM

Abu Dhabi's Etisalat has signed a two-part AED3.15bn ($4.36bn) facility to help fund its acquisition of a 53
percent stake in Maroc Telecom, the Gulf telecom operator said in a bourse
statement on Monday.

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.

The UAE's firm will utilise the
funds at the closing of its purchase of the stake in Maroc Telecom from
France's Vivendi.

On Sunday, Reuters reported that an Abu Dhabi
state-owned fund would finance a quarter of Etisalat's €4.2bn
purchase of the Maroc Telecom stake, thereby reducing Etisalat's contribution to
€3.15bn. Sources said the deal should close this week.

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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