Vodacom Group’s proposed acquisition of a 55% stake in Vodafone Egypt has secured shareholder approval.
Vodacom minority shareholders overwhelmingly voted in favour of the transaction at a general meeting held on January 18.
Shareholders also approved resolutions that pave the way to fund the R41-billion transaction by issuing 242-million new ordinary shares at R135.75 a share, subject to final outstanding regulatory approvals, in addition to about R8.2-billion in cash.
“This is an exciting and important milestone for Vodacom as the acquisition of Vodafone Egypt will be transformational in our evolution from a telco to a techco,” said Vodacom Group CEO Shameel Joosub.
“This is a transaction that presents significant diversification and growth opportunities for our shareholders. With over 80% of Egypt’s 100-million population unbanked, Vodacom sees enormous potential to leverage our financial services platforms, global partnerships and best practices in a significant market.”
While Vodacom is working towards closing the transaction before the end of its financial year in March 2022, the deal remains conditional upon receipt of certain approvals from the JSE, the National Telecom Regulatory Authority of Egypt and Egypt’s Financial Regulatory Authority.
Given the related-party nature of the transaction, Vodacom has ensured appropriate governance controls were put in place so that the deal is executed and concluded on an arm’s length basis.
“As a result, Vodafone, which currently holds a 60.5% stake in Vodacom Group, was precluded from voting on the approval of the transaction at the general meeting,” Joosub commented.
Some 99% of shareholders were in favour of ordinary resolution number one: the approval of the transaction. For the purposes of JSE listing requirements, the votes of Vodafone are excluded.
For ordinary resolution number two: approval of the consideration shares, 99.58% were in favour, and, for the special resolution of granting authority to issue consideration shares to the sellers, 99.58% were in favour.