Vodacom plans R17.5bn stake sale to raise black ownership

Vodacom [JSE:VOD] proposed raising the share of black shareholding in Africa’s largest wireless carrier by selling a stake of as much as 6.35% to investors including Royal Bafokeng, Thebe Investment, YeboYethu and company staff.

The R17.5bn deal will help Vodacom comply with a government initiative to ensure that at least 20% of the company is owned by blacks.

Vodacom’s existing empowerment deal is coming to an end on October 8. As part of the deal, current black shareholders will swap their shareholding in the South African unit of Vodacom for a stake in the total group.

“Our black shareholders wanted exposure not only to have exposure to the South African operations, but also to our international operations,” CEO Shameel Joosub said on a conference call on Monday.

“By black shareholders holding a stake in the larger group it will also provide better pricing transparency.”

Shareholders will have to approve the transaction, the company said. The final pricing of the deal will be confirmed in early July and the sale will take place in September, Vodacom said.

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