Vodacom completes purchase of R35bn stake in Safaricom

Natalie Bannerman
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Vodafone's African subsidiary Vodacom completes its acquisition of 35% of Kenya's Safaricom, worth R35bn

South Africa's Vodacom has confirmed that it has completed its acquisition of a 35% stake in Safaricom, the Kenyan operator, from Vodafone for R35bn ($2.6bn).

According to Vodacom, all regulatory approvals and conditions in Kenya and South Africa have been met. Till Streichert, Vodacom group CFO, said: "Vodacom is pleased to announce that the Safaricom transaction, which is the largest in our company's history, has now been finalised." 

The deal was announced in May 2017 with Vodafone, the parent company of Vodacom, transferring its 35% indirect shareholding to its African subsidiary Vodacom. 

As part of the deal, Vodafone received 233.5 million shares in Vodacom, a move that was overwhelmingly approved by the company’s shareholders at a general meeting in July. It now has a 69.7% shareholding in the South African operator, up from 65%, and also retains an indirect stake of 5% in Safaricom.

"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," added Streichert.