By Staff Writer

South African-based mobile phone operator Vodacom is close to securing its plan to buy 35% stake in Kenya’s Safaricom.

On Tuesday, Vodacom minority shareholders overwhelmingly voted in support of the transaction.

The acquisition of Safaricom provides Vodacom with a unique opportunity to diversify its financial profile in a single transaction.

In May this year, Vodacom said the estimated R35 billion transaction would further enhance its position as a leading African mobile communications company.

“The vote of confidence from Vodacom’s minority shareholders is an important milestone in our journey to become a leading digital company and empowering a connected society. This is an exciting deal that provides Vodacom shareholders with access to a high growth, high margin and high cash generating business in the attractive Kenyan market,” Vodacom Group CEO Shameel Joosub said in a statement.

“The proposed transaction increases our presence in East Africa and makes Vodacom a formidable player in financial services on the continent.”

The transaction remains subject to certain regulatory approvals in both Kenya and South Africa.

Vodacom announced on May that it is buying a 34.94% strategic stake in Kenya’s Safaricom held by its parent company Vodafone Group.

The deal is subject to regulatory and shareholder approvals.

Vodacom will fund the acquisition of a 34.94% stake in Safaricom by issuing 226.8 million new ordinary shares.

The company said the transaction is set to further enhance it as a leading African mobile communication company.

Safaricom’s leading mobile money platform, M-Pesa, is an important driver of Kenyan economic growth, providing essential financial services to over 19 million customers. The proposed transaction will improve Vodacom Group’s presence in East Africa, jointly increasing the company’s growth in financial services customers to 32 million, making it a formidable player in financial services on the continent.

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