Vodacom CEO Shameel Joosub said the messaging from its main shareholder Vodafone is clear – Vodacom is not for sale. Vodacom is majority owned by Vodafone.
Recent media reports speculated that Vodafone was packaging Vodacom as a leading African mobile communication company in preparation for acquisition.
In December 2022, Bloomberg reported that Emirates Telecommunications Group (Etisalat) is exploring a potential investment in Vodacom.
Etisalat is headquartered in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, with operations in 16 countries across Asia, the Middle East, and Africa.
According to the report, Etisalat wants to increase its international footprint, which makes Vodacom a logical target.
Etisalat is reportedly looking at the feasibility of buying all or only a part of Vodafone’s majority stake in Vodacom.
Combining some of Etisalat’s African operations with Vodacom to create a continental telecommunications giant is also being considered.
In May 2022, Etisalat disclosed that it had spent $4.4 billion for a 9.8% stake in Vodafone. It announced in December 2022 that it had increased its holding to 11%.
Earlier this month, Vodafone and Etisalat announced a strategic relationship that brings the two operators closer together in certain aspects of their businesses.
As part of this strategic relationship, Vodafone and e& (Etisalat) have entered into a relationship agreement that establishes e& as a cornerstone shareholder of Vodafone.
It sparked renewed speculation that Etisalat is set to acquire a majority shareholding in Vodacom to create an emerging-market telecommunication and mobile-money powerhouse.
However, Joosub told analysts at its annual results presentation on Monday that Vodafone remains committed to Vodacom and does not want to sell the company.
“We recently had a visit from the whole Vodafone board, and the messaging was very clear – Vodacom is not for sale,” Joosub said.