Qtel eyes controlling stake in Maroc Telecom

CEO confirms interest in acquiring a stake in Moroccan telco
Dr Nasser Marafih confirmed Qtel's interest in Maroc Telecom.
Dr Nasser Marafih confirmed Qtel's interest in Maroc Telecom.


State-owned operator Qatar Telecom (Qtel) has confirmed that it could be interested in acquiring a controlling stake in Morocco’s largest telecom operator, Maroc Telecom, as it seeks to expand its geographical footprint, its group CEO told Arabian Business.

The Doha-based telco, which operates in 16 countries across the Middle East, Africa and Asia, said it will only look to buy a stake in Maroc if it fits Qtel’s strategy.

“It’s still very early stages. It’s something that if it’s available we would be interested to discuss,” said Dr Nasser Marafih.

“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,” he added.

Vivendi is exploring options to sell its 53% stake in Maroc Telecom from which it hopes to raise at least €5.5bn (US$7.13bn). The operator, the largest company on the Moroccan exchange by market capitalisation, is Vivendi’s second largest business unit but its growth has slowed in recent years amid increased competition in its domestic market.

Vivendi has received four expressions of interest in the stake including from Qtel, Etisalat, Saudi Telecom and South Africa’s MTN, Reuters said on October 24.

Unnamed sources have said there is no official deadline for offers but the French conglomerate hopes to sign a deal before the end of the first quarter of 2013.

The Kingdom of Morocco, which owns a 30% stake, would need to approve any sale.

Qtel, which is facing increased completion in its home market, has ramped up its geographical expansion in recent years. The operator in October said it would raise its stake in Kuwait’s number-two operator, Wataniya, to 92.1% pending regulatory approval.

The move marked its second major stake acquisition this year after the operator doubled its holding in Iraq’s Asiacell to 60% for US$1.47bn in June.

Webinar #2 | Register to attend - Intergenerational signalling consolidation for the 5G era

Join CommsMEA, Deutsche Telekom and NetNumber as they explore opportunities for intergenerational signalling consolidation for the 5G era. The webinar is free but can only be accessed by registering below in advance.

Editor's Choice

Emerson expands analytics platform for industrial enterprise-level wireless infrastructure management
Plantweb Insight platform adds two new Pervasive Sensing applications that manage wireless networks more efficiently with a singular interface to the enterprise
Digitalisation seen as a competitive advantage by Middle East private businesses
Nearly 80 per cent of private business leaders acknowledge that digitalisation can impact business sustainability
Etisalat introduces Multi-Access Edge Computing architecture delivering best-in-class video streaming performance for 5G networks
MEC architecture achieves performance gains of as much as 90% in video streaming, validating how ultra-low-latency applications will be delivered over 4G and 5G networks

Most popular

Don't Miss a Story