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Wednesday, 19 January 2022

Vodacom shareholders approve Vodafone Egypt acquisition

Vodafone Plc took a step closer to offloading its majority stake in Vodafone Egypt to its South African subsidiary yesterday after receiving shareholder backing. A majority of shareholders in Vodacom approved the acquisition of the 55% stake in Vodafone Egypt during a general meeting, the Johannesburg-listed company announced in a disclosure (pdf).

The transaction: Vodafone Plc — which currently owns a 60.5% stake in Vodacom — last year agreed to sell its holdings in its Egypt unit for EUR 2.34 bn in a stock and cash transaction. The South African company will pay 20% in cash and the other 80% by issuing new shares, which will increase Vodafone’s stake in Vodacom to 65.1%.

There are still some boxes to tick: Vodacom still needs the blessing of the Egypt’s National Telecom Regulatory Authority before the shares can be transferred — and the Financial Regulatory Authority here will need to give it an exemption from the legal requirement to make a mandatory tender offer for the Vodafone Egypt shares it is not buying, it said in the disclosure. The company also needs to jump through regulatory hoops in South Africa, including approval from the Financial Surveillance Department of the South African Reserve Bank and listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange of the new shares it is issuing Vodafone Plc

Don’t expect Telecom Egypt to get in the way: The EGX-listed telecoms giant still holds a 45% stake in Vodafone Egypt and contractually has a right of first refusal, which would allow it to make a counter-offer. However, the company doesn’t plan to invoke this right, Investor Relations head Sarah Shabayek told Enterprise in November.

Expect movement this quarter: Vodafone Group expects the transaction to close before 31 March.

IN OTHER M&A-

Reliance Logistics has acquired an undisclosed stake in investment firm Catalyst Partners, as the logistics firm eyes expansion into financing, digital transformation and entrepreneurship, according to a statement (pdf). No details were provided on the value or mechanism of the transaction. Catalyst Partners’ board will undergo changes to reflect the new ownership structure, according to Chairman Maged Shawky.

ADIB to offload National Co. for Glass and Crystal: Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank and its subsidiaries will sell their entire combined 88.3% stake in the National Company for Glass and Crystal, according to an EGX disclosure (pdf). The bank is currently in the process of wrapping up regulatory procedures.

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