VENTURES AFRICA – Qatar’s state-owned telecommunication company, Qatar Teleco (Qtel), has affirmed plans to acquire controlling stakes in Morocco’s biggest telecom operator, Maroc Telecom if it fits its strategy to expand geographically.
Speaking to ArabianBusiness, Qtel Group CEO Nasser Marafih said: “It’s still very early stages. It’s something that if it’s available we would be interested to discuss. We are a company that is still looking at growth and we will continue to look at growth. We are focusing on the Middle East, Africa and also the Asian subcontinent, and we look at opportunities all of the time”
Maroc Telecom is Vivendi’s second largest contributor to earnings and the largest company on the Moroccan exchange by market capitalisation. However, it has seen growth slow down in recent years amid increased domestic competition; hence Vivendi is exploring options to sell its 53 percent stake in the telecom company with the hope of raising at least €5.5bn ($7.13bn).
The Kingdom of Morocco owns a 30 percent stake of Maroc telecom.
Apart from Doha-based Qtel, Etisalat, Saudi Telecom and South Africa’s MTN, have also expressed interest in acquiring Vivendi’s stake in Maroc.
Maroc Telecom, which competes with two other operators – Inwi and Meditel – in the country, has about 23 million subscribers.