Maroc Telecom completes Moov takeover for 474 million euros
By Issa Sikiti da Silva
Maroc Telecom said this week that it has completed the takeover of all Moov operations in six African countries – Ivory Coast, Togo, Gabon, Benin, Central African Republic and Niger – to the total value of 474 million euros.
The Moov mobile brand used to be owned by Atlantique Telecom, a subsidiary of United Arab Emirates group Etisalat in Francophone Africa. Etisalat is currently the major shareholder of Maroc Telecom with 53%.
The transaction also includes the takeover of Prestige Telecom, which provides IT services on behalf of Etisalat subsidiaries in these countries, and which is believed to command over 42 million mobile lines.
Maroc Telecom, which is said to be the continent’s second-largest telecommunications company after South Africa’s MTN, is present in 10 African countries.
The company CEO, Abdeslam Ahizoune, said the transaction marks an important step in the development of Maroc Telecom and strengthens its strategic positioning as a major player in Africa.
“We support south-south economic cooperation through this operation,” he added.
The total takeover of Moov was not as smoothly as it sounds in the sense that Maroc Telecom did encounter a few challenges in Togo, where the government conditioned the Moov Togo takeover to the ‘handing over’ of 30% ownership to Togolese investors.
Maroc Telecom also owns Gabon Telecom, which it bought in 2007 and merged it with mobile operator Libertis. This means that the recent takeover pushes Moov Gabon to be automatically ‘swallowed’ by Gabon Telecom.
Many analysts said Maroc Telecom now needs to work hard to revive some of these subsidiaries which were said to be struggling.