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Johannesburg - Vodacom Group said on Tuesday that minority shareholders overwhelmingly voted in support of its proposed acquisition of a 35 percent stake in Safaricom, clearing an important hurdle for the transaction.

Safricom is Kenya’s leading integrated communications company, serving over 28 million customers with over 100 different product offerings under its portfolio. 

As the biggest communication company in East and Central Africa, Safaricom pioneered commercial mobile money transfer globally through M-Pesa in 2007.

Read also:  Shareholders back Vodacom deal 

In May this year, Vodacom said the estimated R35 billion transaction would further enhance its position as a leading African mobile communications company.

The South African-based mobile communication company said acquiring Safaricom would provide it with a unique opportunity to diversify its financial profile in a single transaction.

Vodacom has mobile network operations in South Africa, Lesotho, Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Mozambique. Through Vodacom Business Africa, Vodacom also offer business managed services to enterprises in over 30 countries across the continent.

Vodacom Group chief executive, Shameel Joosub, said the proposed transaction would increase the company's presence in East Africa and would make Vodacom a formidable player in financial services on the continent.

"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," Joosub said.

"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." 

The transaction remains subject to certain regulatory approvals and conditions in both Kenya and South Africa.