United Arab Emirates (UAE)-based telecoms company Emirates Telecommunications Corporation (Etisalat) has successfully completed the sale of its wholly-owned West African subsidiary Atlantique Telecom, which has mobile operations in Benin, Central African Republic, Gabon, Cote d’Ivoire, Niger and Togo, alongside Cote d’Ivoire-based IT service provider Prestige Telecom, to Moroccan incumbent telco Maroc Telecom (registered as Itissalat Al Maghrib, or IAM). The final consideration in return for Etisalat’s equity and receivables (including shareholder loans) from the seven companies amounts to EUR474 million (USD532.3 million). TeleGeography notes that the sale agreement was conditional on Etisalat completing a prior-agreed deal to buy French media group Vivendi’s 53% stake in Maroc Telecom, and securing regulatory approvals in the aforementioned six countries.
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, in July 2013 Vivendi entered into exclusive negotiations with Etisalat for the sale of Morocco’s leading telco which includes subsidiaries in Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso and Gabon.The two companies signed a definitive agreement for the sale of the controlling 53% stake in Maroc Telecom for EUR4.2 billion in November 2013. The acquisition was completed in May 2014 via indirect subsidiary Etisalat International North Africa (EINA), for a final consideration of EUR4.138 billion. Etisalat holds 91.3% of EINA’s capital, while the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development owns the remaining 8.7% stake.