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September 24, 2017

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Etisalat raises funds to buy Maroc Telecom stake

DUBAI--UAE telecommunications firm Etisalat announced Monday it has raised 3.15 billion euros to fund the acquisition of French media giant Vivendi's 53-percent stake in Morocco's main provider, Maroc Telecom.

The funds were raised with a group of 17 international, regional and local banks in the United Arab Emirates.

"Financing consists of two facilities which can be utilised in EUR and/or USD," Etisalat said in a statement.

"Utilisation of funds under the two facilities will take place at the closing of the transaction with Vivendi."

On Nov. 5 last year, the French media and entertainment group announced an agreement with Etisalat to sell its Maroc Telecom stake for 4.2 billion euros in cash.

Vivendi said at the time that the agreement was final, although it was subject to some conditions, notably approval from regulatory authorities in countries where Maroc Telecom operates.

The Moroccan state holds 30 percent of Maroc Telecom, which is quoted on the stock exchange in Casablanca.

Etisalat became the only potential buyer of the 53-percent holding after Qatari firm Ooredoo, formerly QTel, withdrew from the running last June.

Vivendi and Etisalat, one of the biggest telecom groups in the Middle East, began negotiations at the end of April 2013.

Etisalat, which also operates in Saudi Arabia and in Egypt and has interests in Africa and Asia, provides services to 141 million customers in 15 countries.

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