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Cape Town – Vodacom’s multi-billion rand acquisition of Safaricom, Kenya’s integrated communications company on Tuesday received a shot in the arm after a minority shareholder gave the transaction the green light.   Earlier this year, the telecoms giants announced that it had agreed to buy a 35 percent stake in Safaricom in a deal worth R35 billion.

Shameel Joosub, the group chief executive at Vodacom, says the deal will further enhance its position as a leading African mobile communications company and acquiring Safaricom provides Vodacom with a unique opportunity to diversify its financial profile in a single transaction.

“The vote of confidence from Vodacom’s minority shareholders is an important milestone in our journey to become a leading digital company and empowering a connected society. This is an exciting deal that provides Vodacom shareholders with access to a high growth, high margin and high cash generating business in the attractive Kenyan market,” Joosub says.

The biggest draw card for Vodacom was Safaricom’s M-Pesa rollout in Kenya and East Africa.

Joosub says the conclusion of the deal will see Vodacom having a significant presence on the continent.

“The proposed transaction increases our presence in East Africa and makes Vodacom a formidable player in financial services on the continent.”

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Safaricom is owned by the government of Kenya which holds a 35 percent stake, while Vodafone Kenya holds 39.9 percent equity in the company and public investors have 25 percent shareholding in Safaricom.

Vodacom says the transaction remains subject to certain regulatory approvals and conditions precedent in both Kenya and South Africa.