Vodafone Group Plc has announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Vodafone International Holdings B.V. will transfer 35 per cent of its indirect shareholding in Safaricom Limited to Vodacom Group Limited, its sub-Saharan African subsidiary in a transaction valued at €2.361 million.
Indirect shareholding is when one entity directly holds shares of another entity that owns shares of a third but different entity.
The London-based multi-national telecommunications company holds 40 per cent indirect interest in the Kenyan telco through a wholly-owned subsidiary Vodafone Kenya Limited.
Vodafone will exchange the 35 per cent indirect interest in Safaricom for 226.8 million new ordinary shares in the South African company Vodacom and continue to hold a 5 per cent indirect interest in the company in addition to the indirect interest held through Vodacom.
Vodafone Group has given appropriate assurances to the Government of Kenya to ensure the ongoing success of the long standing partnership between Safaricom, the wider Vodafone Group and the Government of Kenya, as part of the transaction.
“The agreement Vodafone Group has reached with the Government of Kenya will ensure Safaricom continues to have strong Kenyan representation at Board and management levels, and promotes the continued successful expansion of the company as well as the opportunity to drive M-PESA to other markets in the continent,” Safaricom Chief Executive Officer Bob Collymore noted.
The transaction is subject to approval from Vodacom minority shareholders and the Financial Surveillance Department of the South African Reserve Bank.
The Capital Markets Authority of Kenya will confirm that the transaction does not trigger an obligation for Vodacom to make a mandatory bid for Safaricom.
With this transaction which is expected to close in Q3 2017, the Vodafone Group is looking to streamline and simplify the management of its sub-Saharan African holdings.