The proposed acquisition by Vodacom Group of an effective 35% stake in Safaricom, Kenya’s leading integrated communications company, cleared an important hurdle today when Vodacom minority shareholders overwhelmingly voted in support of the transaction.
In May this year, Vodacom said the estimated R35 billion transaction would further enhance its position as a leading African mobile communications company and acquiring Safaricom provides Vodacom with a unique opportunity to diversify its financial profile in a single transaction.
Commenting on the latest developments, Vodacom Group Chief Executive Shameel Joosub said:
“The vote of confidence from Vodacom’s minority shareholders is an important milestone in our journey to become a leading digital company and empowering a connected society. This is an exciting deal that provides Vodacom shareholders with access to a high growth, high margin and high cash generating business in the attractive Kenyan market. The proposed transaction increases our presence in East Africa and makes Vodacom a formidable player in financial services on the continent.
The transaction remains subject to certain Regulatory approvals and conditions precedent in both Kenya and South Africa.
Vodacom is a leading African mobile communication company providing a wide range of communication services including mobile voice, messaging, data and converged services to 66.8 million customers. Vodacom has mobile network operations in South Africa, Lesotho, Tanzania, the DRC and Mozambique. Through Vodacom Business Africa, Vodacom also offer business managed services to enterprises in over 30 countries across the continent.
As the biggest communication company in East and Central Africa, Safaricom serves over 28.1 million customers, providing over 200,000 touch points for its customers and offering over 100 different products under its portfolio. Safaricom pioneered commercial mobile money transfer globally through M-Pesa, the most successful service of its kind anywhere in the world. Launched in March 2007, M-Pesa now has over 19 million active customers and over 140,000 M-Pesa Agent outlets countrywide.