Vivendi has signed a definitive agreement to sell its 53 percent shareholding in Morocco's leading telecommunications player Maroc Telecom to the UAE's Etislat for €4.2 billion in cash.

The two firms entered into exclusive negotiations over the sale back in July.

The deal, which represents the Middle East's largest takeover in the telecommunications industry, is expected to conclude early next year subject to regulatory approval.

Etisalat will pay Vivendi €3.9 billion for the stake, plus a further €300 million euros in dividends, and sees the operator expand its footprint into four new operating countries - Morocco, Mauritania, Burkina Faso and Mali.

For Vivendi, the deal is a continuation of its strategy to restructure the make-up of its businesses.

"The sale is part of Vivendi's strategy to focus and strengthen its businesses around media and content activities," the company said in a statement.

The France-based company also owns mobile operator SFR, but announced in September that it plans to spin off its telecoms operations into a separate company.

Last week, Vivendi announced it had agreed to buy out partner Lagardere's 20 percent stake in the pay-TV operator Canal+ France for €1.02 billion.

Last month, the firm announced that its GVT subsidiary planned to provide pay-TV services in Brazil as part of a tie-up with EchoStar Technologies.

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