The United Arab Emirates-based operator, which already has extensive operations across Africa, has had the money in place for some time and is thought to be leading the chase ahead of Qatari network Ooredoo, but needed official approval from shareholders to proceed.
In a statement yesterday Etisalat said: “Etisalat's shareholders approved the board's recommendation to raise external funding in excess of the corporation's capital.”
The statement also hinted a deal with Vivendi may be close to being done by adding use of the money “is still subject to finalisation of remaining terms and conditions to acquire Vivendi’s stake”.
The Moroccan state is the second largest shareholder in Maroc Telecom with a 30 per cent stake and there has been mixed messages as to whether they would also sell up.
As well as being the primary operator in Morocco, Maroc also does business in Burkina Faso, Gabon, Mali and Mauritania.
Any deal for the 53 per cent stake is expected to be worth around US$6 billion.