Vodafone`s offer unconditional

By Iain Scott, ITWeb group consulting editor
Johannesburg, 27 Jan 2006

UK-headquartered Vodafone, whose shareholding in JSE-listed VenFin has risen to 66.6%, has made its R21 billion offer for the group unconditional.

Vodafone published a notice late yesterday that it had received acceptances of the offer by shareholders owning about 230.31 million shares, representing 60.8% of the shares Vodafone has offered to buy.

This, combined with the 30.3 million ordinary shares held by the UK cellular network operator, and the 35.5 million B shares to be acquired from Rembrandt Trust, will give Vodafone an economic interest of 66.6% in VenFin and a voting interest of 80.5%.

Vodafone says in its notice that it is now making the offer unconditional and is extending it to 17 February.

Previously, the offer was conditional upon Vodafone receiving acceptances from shareholders owning 90% of the shares the group wants to buy.

Vodafone`s aim is to gain VenFin`s 15% stake in local cellular network operator Vodacom, which would give it a 50% shareholding in Vodacom - equal to the stake owned by fixed-line operator Telkom.

Vodafone plans to dispose of all of VenFin`s other assets and liabilities to the Rupert Trust for R5 billion.

The VenFin share, which lost 5c or 0.1% to close at 4 785c on the JSE yesterday, was 10c or 0.2% lower at 4 775c in midmorning trade today.

Vodafone is offering R47.25 a share.

Related stories:
Vodafone extends Vodacom deal deadline
Vodafone offer buoys VenFin
Will Vodafone buy mean end of Vodacom brand?