The government of Mali is still in talks to sell a majority stake in national operator Sotelma to Maroc Telecom, reports local daily L'Essor. Maroc Telecom presented its bid for a 51 percent stake in January.
The Moroccan operator, already active in several African countries, offered EUR 252 million, beating bids of EUR 111 million from Sudatel and EUR 80 million from Portugal Telecom, according to the paper.
The government has given itself three months to negotiate with Maroc Telecom, a communications ministry official told the paper. Two weeks ago a delegation from the Moroccan operator visited the country to continue the negotiations.
The ministry official said the government is hoping for an improvement in Maroc Telecom's offer, while also looking to secure certain guarantees on personnel and management after the privatisation. The government has already negotiated a social plan at Sotelma for 610 voluntary redundancies, out of total staff of 1,382.