Vodafone CEO open to talks with SA govt

Vodacom. (Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)
Vodacom. (Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)

Johannesburg - Telecoms giant Vodafone has so far not held talks with South Africa over the London-listed firm buying Pretoria's stake in its local subsidiary Vodacom, chief executive Vittorio Colao said on Wednesday.

However, Colao told a news conference in Johannesburg he was open to talks with the South African government, which has stated an intention to sell state-held shareholdings to fund cash-strapped energy utility Eskom's building of power plants.

"I personally haven't got any discussion on that topic. We are happy where we are. We are happy with the current situation," Colao said. "Having said that we would be open to discussions."

The South African government holds a 13.91% stake in Vodacom, valued at R27.6 billion ($2.3 billion), that could be on the block to raise financing for Eskom.

Vodafone holds another 65% in Vodacom.

Colao said that while Vodafone was interested in widening its emerging markets coverage, the opportunities in Africa were few and expensive.

"The good assets in Africa, often the owners have a disproportionate idea of their value and therefore they don't sell in the end. Or there are assets for sale but they are not good companies," he said.

Vodafone has a presence in Egypt, Ghana, Kenya and Uganda, while its subsidiary Vodacom extends that reach into South Africa, Tanzania, Mozambique, Lesotho and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

ZAR/USD
16.96
(+0.34)
ZAR/GBP
21.17
(+0.36)
ZAR/EUR
19.08
(+0.51)
ZAR/AUD
11.76
(+0.18)
ZAR/JPY
0.16
(+0.52)
Gold
1772.50
(+0.38)
Silver
17.92
(-0.22)
Platinum
809.00
(-1.22)
Brent Crude
42.09
(+1.84)
Palladium
1899.00
(+0.13)
All Share
54617.19
(+1.54)
Top 40
50309.77
(+1.49)
Financial 15
10214.89
(+2.12)
Industrial 25
76156.33
(+1.23)
Resource 10
50768.18
(+1.58)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo
Company Snapshot
Voting Booth
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
I'm not really directly affected
18% - 1544 votes
I am taking a hit, but should be able to recover in the next year
23% - 2008 votes
My finances have been devastated
34% - 3014 votes
It's still too early to know what the full effect will be
25% - 2191 votes
Vote