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Etisalat Said to Seek $8 Billion of Loans for Maroc Telecom Bid

Emirates Telecommunications Corp., the Middle East’s second-biggest phone company by market value, is seeking as much as $8 billion of loans to back a potential bid for Vivendi SA’s 53 percent stake in Maroc Telecom, according to two people with knowledge of the deal.

The Abu Dhabi-based company has invited banks to pitch for acquisition and financing advisory positions to help raise debt for the deal, said the people, who asked not to be named because the terms are private. The company could get a short-term bridge loan that would be replaced by bonds, the people said.

The company, known as Etisalat, is weighing options, including a debt financing, to fund the potential acquisition of Vivendi SA’s $6 billion stake, Group Chief Executive Ahmad Julfar said last month. Qatar Telecom QSC, known as Qtel, and KT Corp., South Korea’s second-largest mobile-phone company, have also expressed preliminary interest in the business, the companies have said.

Officials in Etisalat’s investor relations department didn’t immediately return an e-mail seeking comment on the financing. The media relations department couldn’t be reached by telephone.

Vivendi has hired Lazard Ltd. and Credit Agricole SA to explore a sale of the asset, people familiar with the matter have said, as it overhauls its business to refocus on media and content distribution. Maroc, based in Rabat, Morocco, is 30 percent owned by the government, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The financing was reported earlier by Reuters.

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