Moroccan incumbent Maroc Telecom (Maroc) said yesterday that it will launch an initial public offering (IPO) on 22 November 2004. Shares in the telco, valued at about EUR8 billion, will be sold on the Paris and Casablanca stock markets by the end of the year. The announcement came after Maroc’s initial flotation filing was approved by the French regulator ART late on Monday, following approval from its Moroccan counterpart last week. Morocco’s government currently owns 65% of Maroc while French telecoms and media group Vivendi Universal owns the remaining 35%. The government is expected to sell about 14% of the former monopoly, hopefully raising an estimated EUR800 million to help balance the state budget, although it has an option to sell 16% to Vivendi, giving the French company the majority 51% stake it has been negotiating for in recent months.
Maroc Telecom reported revenues of EUR1.21 billion for the first nine months of 2004, a rise of 10% over the same period last year. Vivendi claimed telecoms activity revenues for the nine months to 30 September of EUR7.51 billion, up around 12% over the corresponding period of 2003. Vivendi’s other main telecoms interest is its 56% share of France’s SFR Cegetel Group.