UAE’s Etisalat fully acquires EINA; Raises stake in Moroccan operator Maroc Telecom

By Shilpa Annie Joseph, Official Reporter
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UAE-based multinational telecom services operator Etisalat has acquired the 8.7 percent stake in Etisalat Investment North Africa (EINA) held by the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, bringing its ownership of the company to 100 percent.

The deal raises Etisalat Group’s effective ownership in Morocco-based telecommunications firm Maroc Telecom Group to 53 percent from 48.4 percent, Etisalat said in a statement to the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, where its shares are traded.

Etisalat noted that the acquisition cost of about $505 million is subject to change based on current market conditions, including foreign exchange rates before the transaction is completed. The investment will be funded through bank loans, the company added.

Mr. Karim Bennis, Chief financial officer of Etisalat Group commented, “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.”

According to the reports, Etisalat’s net profit attributable for the three months to the end of June increased about 0.4 percent to $651 million from the same period a year earlier, as a result of higher revenue.

Furthermore, Etisalat successfully raised $1.21 billion through a bond issue in the first half of 2021 to repay the maturing bond tranche.

The Abu Dhabi-based corporation serves more than 156 million customers in 16 countries spanning the Middle East, Asia, and Africa. Maroc Telecom operates in 11 West African countries and is the largest operator in Morocco.

After establishing a robust subscriber base of 12.1 million in the UAE in the second quarter of 2021, Etisalat is currently exploring the development of 6G, the next-generation mobile network that enables quicker connectivity than existing technology.

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