Vodacom Finalizes $2.6B Safaricom Share Acquisition Deal

By Peter Pedroncelli Published: August 9, 2017, 6:02 am
share acquisition - 160232989 Vodacom billboard in Johannesburg. Photo: Nadine Hutton/Bloomberg/GettyVodacom Finalize $2.6B Safaricom Deal. Photo: Nadine Hutton/Bloomberg/Getty

Vodacom’s $2.6 billion share acquisition of Safaricom has now been finalized, with the South African company now owning a 35 percent stake in the Kenyan telecommunications and mobile operator.

Vodacom has announced that all regulatory approvals and conditions related to both Kenya and South Africa have now been met, concluding the deal, according to ITWeb.

In May Vodacom proposed the purchase of a 34.94 percent indirect stake in Kenya’s largest company, set to be bought from the Kenyan government.

The stake is worth around $2.6 billion, based on Safaricom’s share price on the Nairobi Securities Exchange, according to Fin24.

Vodacom group chief financial officer Till Streichert revealed that the deal is now finalized, describing the development as ‘transformational’.

“Vodacom is pleased to announce that the Safaricom transaction, which is the largest in our company’s history, has now been finalised,” said Streichert, according to BusinessTech.

“This will provide both businesses with opportunities for growth, as well as enable Vodacom shareholders to access a strong performing business in East Africa in a high growth market.

“We expect this transformational transaction will enhance our position as a leading African mobile communications company, providing the group with the perfect opportunity to diversify our financial profile,” Streichert added.

Share acquisition finalized

Three weeks ago Vodacom’s minority shareholders voted overwhelmingly in favor of plans to acquire a 35 percent share in Safaricom.

The shareholders voted at the telecoms company’s annual general meeting, with 99.59 percent voting in support of the resolution, while only 0.40 percent were against the acquisition, according to IOL.

The agreement sees Vodacom acquire 87.5 percent of the issued share capital of Vodafone Kenya Limited, and Vodafone will subscribe for new Vodacom Group shares.

Ownership of Safaricom, Kenya’s market leader, was previously split between the government of Kenya (35 percent), Vodafone Kenya (39.93 percent), public investors (25 percent) and Safaricom employees (0.07 percent), but now Vodacom, with 65 percent of its own company owned by Vodafone International, is a major stakeholder.

After recent deals in India and the Netherlands for Vodafone International, Vodacom’s Safaricom acquisition provides the England-based firm with a second market-leader within the African region, after Vodacom in South Africa.

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