Qtel, Qatar’s state-controlled operator, is interested in purchasing Vivendi’s stake in Maroc Telecom, the largest telecoms business in Morocco, reports the Financial Times.
Thought to be interested in concentrating on its media business henceforth, the French conglomerate is reviewing its ownership of various telecoms businesses, including Maroc Telecom (Rabat, Morocco), in which it holds a 53% stake, and SFR (Paris, France), a French mobile-phone operator.
Sources have told the Financial Times that Qtel (Doha, Qatar) is likely to face competition for the Maroc Telecom stake from Etisalat (Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates), another powerful state-backed operator in the Middle East region.
Politics could also complicate any sale, with Maroc Telecom one third owned by the Moroccan state.
Vivendi (Paris, France) is reportedly being advised on the process by Lazard and Crédit Agricole banks.
A focus on media is being championed by Jean-René Fourtou, Vivendi’s chairman, and would likely put Universal Music Group, which recently bought EMI’s recorded music business for £1.2 billion ($1.92 billion), at the heart of the organization’s strategy.
Moreover, Vincent Bolloré, a billionaire Frenchman who has previously invested in underperforming media companies and owns 5% of Vivendi, was recently offered a seat on the company’s board.