VENTURES AFRICA – Morocco prefers Qatar or European investors to acquire a stake in its Maroc Telecom, a part state-owned company.
A government minister told Reuters that it wished this to happen if France’s Vivendi wished to sell out its 53 percent stake in Maroc.
Vivendi last month asked Credit Agricole and Lazard to check whether there was interest in its stake in the North African operator, according to sources that spoke to Reuters.
It has been revealed that Qatar Telecom, the telecoms group controlled by Qatar, is interested in acquiring the stake in Maroc.
Morocco’s government is the second largest stakeholder in Maroc Telecom, with 30 percent. Chances are that Qatar investors can be interested in the stake.
Earlier this year Qatar Telecom said it planned to grow its North African operations through new acquisitions in the region.
Analysts say operators in the Middle East and North Africa, as elsewhere in the world, will focus on expanding their mobile and fixed data businesses, as the voice market continues its gradual decline.
“We will see who will be interested in doing the investment, whether Qatar investors or Europeans,” Industry Minister Abdelkader Aamara said on the sidelines of a meeting with a delegation of European Union businessmen.
“The government has not been contacted yet on this issue, but certainly will have to be informed,” Aamara said. “For the moment I can confirm that this morning Maroc Telecom proposed a new 1 billion Euro ($1.2 billion) investment in the country, which confirms that it’s a company committed to Morocco.”