French Vivendi pays $ 2.3 billion for 35% of Maroc-Telecom Capital
Morocco-France, Business, 12/22/2000
French group "Vivendi Universal" has won the bid for the purchase of 35% of Maroc-Telecom capital for $ 2.33 billion (23.34 billion DH), it was officially announced on Thursday.
Maroc-Telecom launched on October 3 a call for bids for 25 to 35 % of its capital at a minimum price of $ 2.1 billion. In addition to Vivendi, three other groups were interested in the deal.
The government said Thursday the price offered is ideal in view of the situation in world markets. The two other bidding companies were forced to withdraw for lack of funds.
According to Morocco's secretary of state in charge of post and information technologies, Nasser Hajji, Vivendi Universal has pledged to set forth a "strategic shareholding" with Maroc-Telecom to invest in Africa and the Arab world.
He added the Moroccan government expects telecommunications' share of the GDP to reach 3 to 4 % from the present 2%.
In 1999, Maroc-telecom posted $ 234 million in net profit. Maroc-Telecom still holds the monopoly over the land phone lines but shares since April 1999 the GSM market with a Spanish-Portuguese-Moroccan consortium which bought the second GSM license for $ 1.08 billion.
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