South African govt mulling Vodacom exit

16 Oct 2014

The South African government is reportedly considering selling its minority stake in telecoms operator Vodacom Group as it seeks funding to bolster struggling electricity supplier Eskom, Bloomberg writes. According to unnamed sources, state officials have approached financial advisers with regards to the potential disposal of its 13.9% stake in the operator, which is valued at around ZAR26 billion (USD2.3 billion). One source disclosed that the share would most likely be sold to institutional investors rather than a private buyer, adding that a deal is not imminent. However, Vodacom spokesman Richard Boorman said the company was not aware of any plan by government to sell its stake, while South Africa’s treasury said in a statement that if the state considers changing its ‘involvement in particular sectors’, it would have to ‘handle information with extreme care, bearing in mind that some of the entities are listed and any decision involving them is market-sensitive and is governed by strict laws and regulations.’

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Vodacom Group is majority owned by the UK’s Vodafone Group(65%), while the South African government holds a 13.9% stake; the remaining shares are distributed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE).

South Africa, Vodacom Group