British mobile phone operator Vodafone PLC has sold its 35 percent stake in Kenyan network Safaricom to South African Vodacom Group Ltd for approximately Ksh 284 billion ($2.75 billion).
Vodafone PLC have a 65 percent share in Vodacom S.A and the acquisition was made public on Monday Morning when Vodacom released its Full Year 2017 results.
Announcing the transaction in a press statement on Monday, which is subject to regulatory and shareholder approvals, Vodacom Group Chief Executive Officer Shameel Joosub said: “This is an exciting occasion for Vodacom and a unique opportunity to diversify our revenue growth and profitability. Acquiring a strategic stake in Safaricom will provide our shareholders with access to a high growth, high margin, high cash generation business operating in a high growth market. In addition to producing mutually beneficial opportunities for growth, it will create further incremental value through the close cooperation between the two businesses, particularly in driving M-Pesa adoption across our operations.”
Safaricom reported a net income increase of 27.1 percent – to a record Ksh 48.4 billion – last week when it announced its full year 2017 results. The increase was mainly driven by M-Pesa revenues which rose by 32.7 percent to Ksh 55.1 Billion as 30 day users of the platform grew by 14.6 percent to 19.02 Million.
Calling Safaricom a “prized asset on the African continent,” Vodacom now has a significant footprint in Kenya, where Safaricom has an estimated 71% of the mobile market and some 19-million M-Pesa users. M-Pesa is widely seen as the poster child of mobile innovation in Africa and the most innovative mobile money system in the world. An estimated 40% of Kenya’s GDP passes through M-Pesa every day.
Safaricom will begin its 2017 international from Monday 15th to 17th May in London to showcase the Full Year 2017 results. From 18th to 30th May, the Roadshow begins in Copenhagen, Stockholm, Paris, Chicago, Johannesburg and finally in Cape Town on 30th.