Mozambique’s Whatana Investments has taken a 5% stake worth USD10 million in Vodacom Mozambique (VM), a subsidiary of South African mobile giant Vodacom. Speaking from South Africa, Alan Knott-Craig, CEO of the Vodacom Group, said the deal was part of its strategy to ‘create a truly Mozambican company’. When VM began operations in 2003, 98% of its shares were held by Vodacom, and only 2% by Mozambican investors. The local holding has now increased to 15%, and Vodacom has said it plans further sales soon, although it intends to stay the majority shareholder, retaining just over 50%.
Following the announcement of the sale, VM revealed plans to invest USD50 million expanding its reach into more rural areas with new base stations. The cellco is currently one of two mobile phone operators in the country, alongside mCel. TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate reported in February that VM’s market share has risen to 40% with around 1.5 million subscribers while mCel has around 2.25 million subscribers.