The Moroccan government has initiated a privatization process by announcing that it will sell its 8% stake in Maroc Telecom and relinquishing its right to vote. The government announced that it will 6% of that stake this month as a block order to local institutional investors such as retirement funds, insurance companies and banks. The remaining 2% stake will be sold on the Casablanca stock exchange, where the company is already listed, said the Ministry of Finance.
By selling its 8% stake, the government will be able to recover around 9 billion dirhams and will still hold a share of 22% in Maroc Telecom. The sale is designed to cut the 2019 budget deficit to 3.3% of gross domestic product, from 3.8% of GDP in 2018.
The Moroccan operator boasts 61 million clients and registered revenues of more than 36 billion dirhams in 2018. Its footprint is extended to Mauritania, Burkina Faso, Gabon, Mali, Ivory Coast, Benin, Togo, Central Africa and Chad.
Headed by Abdeslam Ahizoun, Maroc Telecom has a workforce of more than 10 000 employees in all Africa. Since 2013, Emirati multinational Etisalat holds a majority stake of 53% which it bought from Vivendi for 4.2 billion euros.
As part of its privatization program, the government also plans to sell the five-star La Mamounia hotel in Marrakech and the Tahaddart power plant in the north of the country.