Vodafone bumps up shareholding in Vodacom

Samuel Mungadze
By Samuel Mungadze, Africa editor
Johannesburg, 14 Feb 2023

Vodafone Group has increased its shareholding in JSE-listed Vodacom Group, after the recent acquisition of Vodafone Egypt by the Johannesburg-headquartered Pan-African telco.

Vodacom Group took control of Vodafone Egypt in a R43.6 billion deal sealed in November, and the transaction was settled through the issuance of 241 976 243 new shares to Vodafone, and €577 million (equating to R10.8 billion) in cash.

Resultantly, Vodacom yesterday notified the markets: “As a result of the issuance of the ordinary shares pursuant to the transaction, the total beneficial interest in Vodacom Group ordinary shares held by Vodafone Group (through its wholly-owned subsidiaries) increased from 60.5% to 65.1%.”

Other Vodacom shareholders include the Public Investment Corporation, YeboYethu, Vanguard Group, BlackRock Fund Advisors, JPMorgan Asset Management and Lazard Asset Management.

The foray by Vodacom has since added value to the group, which has been seeking to diversify and accelerate growth.

In the current reporting period, Vodacom saluted Vodafone Egypt as it “positively impacted” group revenue, which increased 14.8% to R30.7 billion in the third quarter of 2023.

Shameel Joosub, Vodacom Group CEO, commented: “Vodafone Egypt was consolidated from 8 December 2022, contributed over R1.8 billion to group service revenues and was a key factor, alongside currency gains and operating model resilience, in the 16.1% improvement in our service revenue, despite ongoing financial market volatility and weaker prospects for the global economy.

“The 4.7% increase in normalised group revenue – which strips out currency fluctuations and the impact of Vodafone Egypt’s acquisition – underscores the ongoing resilience of the group’s portfolio at a time when economic uncertainty prevails in the face of the war in Ukraine and the supply chain impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Vodafone Egypt is the largest mobile network operator in the North African nation and holds a 43% revenue market share, and has 43 million consumer and enterprise customers.

The operator is also Egypt’s largest mobile wallet provider through Vodafone Cash, according to the national telecoms regulatory authority. Vodafone Cash had almost 90% of mobile wallet transactions as at August.

Joosub believes Vodafone Egypt is a perfect fit for his company’s expansion plans on the continent and will play a transformative role for the group in future.