Vodacom Group has completed the ZAR34.6 billion (USD2.6 billion) acquisition of a 34.9% stake in Kenya’s largest mobile operator by subscribers, Safaricom, after all regulatory approvals and conditions precedent in Kenya and South Africa were met. In May this year UK-based Vodafone Group agreed to transfer part of its 40% indirect shareholding in Safaricom to Vodacom Group. Under the terms of the deal, Vodacom agreed to acquire an 87.5% shareholding in Vodafone Kenya (VKL), representing a 34.9% indirect interest in Safaricom. In exchange, Vodafone has been issued with 233.5 million new Vodacom shares, increasing its ownership in Vodacom from 65.0% to 69.7%. The UK-based group has retained the remaining 12.5% shareholding in VKL (representing a 5.0% indirect interest in Safaricom), in addition to the indirect interest held through Vodacom.
‘Vodacom is pleased to announce that the Safaricom transaction, which is the largest in our company’s history, has now been finalised,’ commented Vodacom Group CFO Till Streichert, adding: ‘This will provide both businesses with opportunities for growth, as well as enable Vodacom shareholders to access a strong performing business in East Africa in a high growth market. We expect this transformational transaction will enhance our position as a leading African mobile communications company, providing the Group with the perfect opportunity to diversify our financial profile.’