Vodacom to take over stake in Kenya's Safaricom

Vodacom to acquire R35 billion stake in Kenya’s Safaricom

Vodacom said to buy R34.6 billion Safaricom stake

As part of the transaction, Vodafone Group has given appropriate assurances to the government of Kenya to ensure the ongoing success of the long standing partnership between Safaricom, Vodafone Group and the government.

Subject to regulatory and shareholder approvals, Vodacom will fund the acquisition of a 34.94-percent stake in Safaricom by issuing 226.8 million new ordinary shares.

"The proposed transaction offers an opportunity to diversify Vodacom's economic exposure and earning's profile in a single transaction", Joosub said. As this is a related-party transaction, Vodafone, which now owns 65% of Vodacom, is precluded from voting on this at this meeting.

Vodafone will retain a 5% stake in the Kenyan telecoms giant.

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Vodacom, which is 65 percent owned by Vodafone, said subscribers increased by 8.6 percent to 37.1 million in South Africa, while customers in its worldwide markets rose by 2.5 million for the year ended March 31.

"I think by consolidating the African businesses, you could apply scale and target these markets to make a wider opening to Vodacom and Safaricom".

"The sustained demand for data remains a key driver for growth with active data users up 8,3% in South Africa and 29,3% across our worldwide operations". Vodacom has agreed to a two-year exemption from the rule with the bourse, the company said.

South Africa's largest mobile operator by subscribers, is buying a $2.59 billion stake in Kenya's Safaricom Ltd.in the hope of popularizing the highly-touted East African mobile money service M-Pesa across the broader continent.

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In the year to end-March, Vodacom's capital expenditure was sitting at R8.5 billion that enable the firm to widen its 3G and 4G data coverage, improve voice quality and increase data speeds.

Safaricom's M-pesa customer base reported a 15.9% five-year CAGR. Its revenue rose 1.5% to 81.28 billion rand.

However the tie-up comes just a year after Vodacom dropped M-Pesa in South Africa after it failed to prove popular with consumers.

Vodacom declared a final dividend per share of 435 cents, same as the previous year.

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As at the signature date, the subscription price amounts to R34,6-billion, based on the Vodacom Group share price on Friday 12 May 2017. This was offset by the impact of currency volatility and the anticipated effects of customer registrations and disconnections in our global operations, where service revenue declined by 5.6% (up 2.2%) ...

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