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Wednesday, 24 February 2021

Vodafone to acquire 20% in fintech players Bee and Masary

Vodafone Egypt is set to acquire a 20% stake in each of Bee and Masary — both subsidiaries of non-banking financial services provider Ebtikar — under the terms of an MoU between Ebtikar and Vodafone, Hapi Journal reports. Vodafone will acquire the stakes through a capital increase. The acquisition comes as part of the mobile network operator to ramp up its investments in Egypt and expand its non-banking financial services products. The companies will now begin the due diligence process, which is expected to take around three months, Al Mal reports, citing sources close to the sale.

Vodafone’s share purchase opens the door for Bee and Masary’s expansion in Africa, B Investments’ IR head Omar El Labban tells Al Mal. Ebtikar is a joint venture between B investments, BPE Partners and MM Group for Industry and International Trade.

Advisors: Zaki Hashem & Partners is advising Ebtikar, Al Mal reports, while Alliance Law Firm is providing counsel to Vodafone on the transaction, according to an emailed statement.

Background: Ebtikar had said last year that it had received “several” offers from unnamed local and foreign investors for stakes in Bee and Masary. Ebtikar holds a 72% stake in Masary, with the remainder held by Bahrain’s Sadad. The company also acquired a 60% stake in Bee in October 2017, with the remaining 40% held by two other investors.

Separately, Ebtikar is also reportedly looking to up its stake in Bee to 80% by acquiring the stake held by software services company Techno Beez, Al Mal reports, citing unnamed sources. Techno Beez will then purchase an undisclosed stake in Ebtikar in exchange for exiting Bee. Ebtikar is set to disclose the details of these agreements to the EGX this morning, according to the sources.

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