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Telefonica picks advisor for Meditel stake sale

Telefonica picks advisor for Meditel stake sale

Telefonica has selected investment bank Lazard as advisor for the sale of its 32.18 percent stake in Morocco's mobile operator Meditel. Telefonica and Portugal Telecom each have 32.2 percent of Meditel, and in May PT hired Morgan Stanley to look for a buyer for its stake. At mid-May, press reports said that Telefonica was willing to sell its 32 percent stake in Meditel, if fellow shareholder Portugal Telecom (PT) succeeded in its attempt to find a buyer for its stake of equal size. Telefonica is currently analysing its options if an offer were made to buy its stake in Meditel. According to Guillermo Ansaldo, head of the group's operations in Spain and Morocco, "it seems there is a sale process open and if an offer is presented we will study the situation", Reuters reports from a press conference in Madrid. The Moroccan operator is valued between EUR 800 million and EUR 1 billion, so that Telefonica could receive about 300 million for its 32 percent, Spanish newspaper Finanzas reports, citing industry sources. Sources close to the deal said the interested bidders in the 64 percent joint stake in Meditel include Egypt's Orascom Teleocm, Etisalat and France Telecom. The remainder of Meditel's shares are held by a group of Moroccan investors led by Banque Marocaine du Commerce Exterieur (BMCE) and including Caisse de Depots et de Gestion. Meditel currently serves around 8 million clients.