Vodacom said yesterday that it would hold a general meeting of its shareholders next month to decide on the black economic empowerment transaction. Photo: Bloomberg
DURBAN - Vodacom said yesterday that it would hold a general meeting of its shareholders next month to decide on the black economic empowerment (BEE) transaction.

The group said the meeting would take place on August 16 for purposes of considering and, if deemed fit, passing, with or without modification, the resolutions necessary to implement the BEE transaction.

Last month Vodacom announced that it was planning to splurge R17.5billion to raise its black economic empowerment stake in a deal that could see its black shareholders cashing in on a R3bn windfall.

The group said the new deal would see its BEE partners of Royal Bafokeng Holdings, Thebe Investment Corporation and YeboYethu exchange their current shareholding for a shareholding of between 5.8percent and 6.25percent in Vodacom South Africa.

It said the interests of the BEE partners and that of a newly formed staff scheme would be consolidated into a new YeboYethu BEE structure that would own shares in Vodacom Group.

However, Vodacom is finding it difficult to post the circular to shareholders as a result of a strike by the post office workers.

“Vodacom Group had intended to post the circular containing full details of the BEE transaction and a notice of general meeting to shareholders on or about Monday July 16.

However, the on-going strike by a substantial number of employees of the SA Post Office has resulted in it becoming uncertain as to whether, if the circular was only posted through the postal service, the circulars would reach the shareholders, within the anticipated time lines or at all,” the group said.

Thousands of workers affiliated to the Communication Workers Union, the South African Customs Union and the Democratic Postal and Communications Union downed tools on July 6 to demand higher wages after the Post Office offered a 6percent wage increase.

The workers are demanding a 12 percent wage increase and the negotiations between workers and the employers are ongoing.

On Tuesday, Vodacom Group obtained an order from the high court in Pretoria authorising it to deliver the circular, in respect of those shareholders to whom it would have otherwise posted it through the SA Post Office, by giving notice of its availability for physical collection and electronic download by SMS and/or publication in the press.

- BUSINESS REPORT