MIXED SIGNALS: The Competition Commission's complaint against Vodacom that it might have abused its dominance is framed in ambivalence, says the writer. Picture: Dean Hutton/Bloomberg

INTERNATIONAL - Vodacom Tanzania has sold its 24.06% equity stake in Helios Towers (HTT) worth $58.5million (R802.8m) to HTT’s parent company, HTA Holdings. 

The Friday transaction by Vodacom Tanzania, a subsidiary of Vodacom, South Africa’s biggest mobile operator by subscribers, would result in an estimated profit before tax of more than 120billion Tanzanian shillings (R72.63m).

This was in accordance with a Vodacom board mandate to exit the non-core investment in HTT, which engages in the project planning, operation, management and leasing of communication towers. Vodacom Tanzania managing director Ian Ferrao said cash generated from the transaction further enhanced their balance sheet and strategic options. 

“Our established trading relationship with HTT, as a local provider of passive infrastructure services to Vodacom, is unaffected by this sale. We will continue to maintain and further enhance our network with HTT’s services as Vodacom leads Tanzania into the digital age and changes lives through technology,” said Ferrao. The 24.06percent equity stake in HTT was acquired through a series of sale and leaseback transactions between September 2013 and January 2017.