UAE telecoms group e& buys 9.8% stake in Vodafone for $4.Four bln


Emirates Telecommunications Group Firm PJSC, now often called e&, has acquired a 9.8% stake in Vodafone for $4.Four billion, it mentioned on Saturday.

The transfer comes days after e& mentioned it was seeking to develop into new markets in Africa, Europe and Asia and in areas exterior telecoms resembling monetary know-how as its seeks to drive progress.

Vodafone, like all cellular operators, has been struggling in its extra mature markets, the place competitors and regulation have pushed costs decrease.

Internet debt on the group has reached 44.three billion euros ($46.1 billion), and its Chief Govt Nick Learn is underneath strain to simplify its portfolio and enhance returns after a greater than 20% slide in its share worth since he took over in 2018.

Vodafone mentioned it appeared ahead to constructing a long-term relationship with United Arab Emirates-based e&.

“We proceed to make good progress with our long-term strategic plans and can present an replace in our FY22 Outcomes announcement on 17 Could,” it mentioned in a press release.

E& mentioned it had made the funding to achieve “important publicity to a world chief in connectivity and digital providers”.

It added it had no intention of constructing a proposal to purchase Vodafone, saying it’s absolutely supportive of the corporate’s present enterprise technique and its board and current administration workforce.

“We see this funding as a great alternative for e& and its shareholders as it should permit us to reinforce and develop our worldwide portfolio, in step with our strategic ambition,” mentioned CEO Hatem Dowidar.

The UAE agency lately separated its enterprise into shopper services-focused e& life, e& enterprise, offering digital providers to authorities and enterprise, and telecoms arm Etisalat, which its CEO mentioned is the world’s seventh largest by market capitalisation.

($1 = 0.9605 euros) (Reporting by Shivani Tanna in Bengaluru and Saeed Azhar in Dubai; Further reporting by Kate Holton and Michael Holden in London; Modifying by Kirsten Donovan and Jan Harvey)

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