Friday, 23 June, 2017

Vodacom Making Moves In East Africa, Acquires Majority Stake In Safaricom

Pedestrians walk past a mobile phone care centre operated by Kenyan's telecom operator Safaricom in the central business district of Kenya's capital Nairobi Vodacom said to buy R34.6 billion Safaricom stake
Carol Daniels | 16 May, 2017, 10:19

The rising popularity of mobile phones and, in particular, of mobile payment services in sub-Saharan Africa has prompted Vodafone to shuffle its cards to in turn make it easier to expand its business on the continent.

Vodafone Group Plc's South Africa unit agreed to buy a 35 percent shareholding in Safaricom Ltd. The implied share subscription and set-off ratio for the number of new Vodacom Group shares to be issued, in respect of 87,5% of the 39,93% Safaricom shares held by Vodafone Kenya, is equivalent to 1.62 new Vodacom Group shares (cum dividend) for every 100 shares in Safaricom held by Vodafone Kenya.

The transaction, which has a value of €2,361 million based on Vodacom's closing share price on Friday 12 May 2017, will increase Vodafone's ownership in Vodacom from 65% to 70%[2].

For the year, group Ebitda - a measure of operating performance - grew by 2,9% to R31,2m, up 7,1% (excluding the impact of currency fluctuations), with margins improving by 0,5 percentage points to 38,4%.

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Vodacom is looking to further their African footprint with the recent announcement of its investment in Kenyan telecoms firm, Safaricom.

He added that the deal "promotes the continued successful expansion of the company as well as the opportunity to drive M-Pesa to other markets on the continent".

Vodacom says it hopes to "create further value through closer cooperation between both companies, including best practice sharing; replication of Safaricom's success in M-Pesa in Vodacom Group's other territories; and the creation of new Pan-African enterprise solutions in contiguous markets in East Africa". The company however is under pressure from lawmakers and regulators who are debating whether it has a dominant position in the market. Fuelled by expanding distribution channels and the expansion of products and services on offer, we increased the number of customers that use M-Pesa by 3.7 million to nearly 13 million, contributing to a 19.4% rise in M-Pesa revenue. This was offset by the impact of currency volatility and the anticipated effects of customer registrations and disconnections in our worldwide operations, where service revenue declined by 5.6% (up 2.2%) ...

The company declared a second-half dividend of 4.35 rand a share, translating to a full-year dividend of 8.30 rand per share. Subject to shareholder and regulatory approvals, the proposed transaction will cost Vodacom 34.6 billion rand ($2.6 billion) in exchange for the stake.

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