Qtel in loan talks for Maroc Tel bid
Doha, March 16, 2013
Qatar Telecom is talking to banks about a syndicated loan to back a bid for Vivendi's Maroc Telecom stake as bidders face the prospect of having to finance a bid for the whole company, bankers said.
Morocco's government wants to keep a 30 per cent stake in Maroc Telecom, but a bid for Vivendi's 53 per cent stake could trigger a mandatory bid for the whole company under Moroccan law, two senior bankers said.
"We are assessing the probability of the need to acquire the whole company," a senior banker said.
Potentially having to fund the acquisition of the whole company is also a consideration for other bidders, including Etisalat,, the UAE's biggest telecom operator, and South Korea's KT Corp.
Binding bids are due on April 22, one banker said.
Vivendi hired BNP Paribas and Societe Generale last August to advise on the sale of its stake, worth around $6 billion.
Etisalat has been talking to banks about a syndicated loan of $6-8 billion since mid February and appointed BNP Paribas as a financial adviser in late February.
Qtel is seeking a smaller loan as the company has more financing options and is talking to around 9-10 banks about committed financing for a bid, bankers said. Qtel is being advised by JP Morgan.
KT Corp, Korea's biggest telecom, has lined up Citigroup, Credit Suisse and Societe Generale to advise and finance a potential acquisition if its bid is successful.
Raising additional funds to back a bid for 100 per cent of Maroc Telecom in the short term should not be a problem for the bidders, bankers said.
Qtel and Etisalat had been looking at financing packages that included bridge loans to bond issues but would be unlikely to increase the size of their debt financing to avoid putting pressure on their credit ratings, bankers said.
Qtel and Etisalat could choose to finance a higher initial purchase price with cash on balance sheet, shareholder loans or a rights issue, they added.
Bankers are exploring ways for the Moroccan government to keep its stake, including putting its equity investment in a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), sources said.
Separately, Qtel is expected to close a $1 billion loan with 14 banks by the end of March, for general corporate purposes.-Reuters
More IT & Telecommunications Stories
- Du joins new global cable consortium
- Kuwait moves to create telecoms watchdog
- Batelco backs Royal Fund for Martyrs
- Egypt's Global Telecom posts $749m Q4 loss
- Red Hat launches open source BPM suite
- Batelco announces new board
- Batelco offers improved broadband
- You don't own phone numbers, warns TRA
- Tech giants back top Qatar ICT event
- Du to provide wifi access in public areas
- Zain finalises $800m, five-year loan facility
- Ooredoo Q4 net profit falls 36pc to $140m
- Mobily, Etisalat team up for LTE roaming
- Batelco approves $84m dividends for 2013
- Etisalat Q4 profit rises 70pc to $394m
- Kenya telecom firm to join Etisalat SmartHub
- Aruba appoints new sales director
- Du enters $1.17 billion financing deals
- VIVA extends 4G LTE offer
- Batelco to update students with latest technologies
- Etisalat SmartHub seals IPX agreement
- Etisalat picks Alcatel for LTE network expansion
- Boeing, QCRI host machine learning forum
- Mobily provides 4G LTE international roaming
- Viva Kuwait, Huawei to set up innovation centre
- Etisalat, Airtel deal to boost network services
- Batelco offers 4G LTE backup solution
- Arbor unveils ‘Peakflow’ solution
- Etisalat launches enterprise mobility services
- STC launches advanced 4G network