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Etisalat signs deal to acquire additional stake in Maroc Telecom

The deal with the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development will increase the UAE operator’s ownership in Maroc Telecom to 53%.

Etisalat has raised its stake in Etisalat Investment North Africa to 100% by acquiring the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development’s 8.7% stake in EINA.

The deal increases Etisalat Group’s effective ownership in Maroc Telecom Group to 53% from 48.4%, Etisalat said in a statement to the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, where its shares are traded.

The acquisition cost of about $505m is subject to change according to prevailing market conditions such as foreign exchange rates prior to the transaction completion, Etisalat said. The investment will be funded through bank loans, it said.

In a statement, Karim Bennis, Chief Financial Officer of Etisalat Group, said: “This will positively impact Etisalat Group’s consolidated net profits due to lower minority interest of group consolidated results and potentially increase future dividends from Maroc Telecom Group.”

Etisalat’s net profit attributable for the three-month period to the end of June increased about 0.4% to Dh2.39 billion ($651m) from the same period a year earlier, as a result of higher revenue.

In the first half of 2021, Etisalat successfully raised €1bn ($1.21bn) through bond issuance to repay the maturing bond tranche.

The Abu Dhabi-based company has operations in 16 countries across the Middle East, Asia and Africa, serving more than 156m customers. Maroc Telecom operates in 11 countries in West Africa.

Having established a strong subscriber base of 12.1m in the UAE in the Q2 of 2021, Etisalat is exploring the development of 6G, the next-generation mobile network that provides faster connectivity than existing technology.

The telecoms operator is conducting research and developing international standards that will be the main building blocks to create a 6G network, the company said at the time.