UAE-based Etisalat Group (e&) has acquired a 9.8% stake in Vodafone Group as it looks to diversify its global operations. In a statement to the bourse, Etisalat said it acquired approximately 2.766bn shares in Vodafone, with a value of nearly £3.3bn (US$4bn) at the latest closing share price.
In a statement, Etisalat said “it has made the investment in Vodafone to gain significant exposure to a world leader in connectivity and digital services” and described the acquisition as an “attractive opportunity”.
The company added that it sees the investment as a “highly efficient use of its strong balance sheet at a compelling and attractive valuation,” and that it plans to be a long-term and supportive shareholder in Vodafone
Hatem Dowidar, Group CEO of Etisalat, said: “Vodafone is one of the leading businesses at the heart of digital communications in Europe and Africa with a compelling business offering critical connectivity and digital services.
“Our investment represents a unique opportunity to acquire a significant stake in one of the leading and strongest global telecom brands, and a company that we know well. We are looking forward to building a mutually beneficial strategic partnership with Vodafone with the goal of driving value creation for both our businesses, exploring opportunities in the rapidly developing global telecom market and supporting the adoption of next-generation technologies.
“We see this investment as a good opportunity as it will allow us to enhance and develop our international portfolio, in line with our strategic ambition,” Dowidar said.
Etisalat Group: The UAE’s first telecommunications provider
Founded in 1976, Etisalat Group is one of the world’s leading telecom groups in emerging markets. It has a consolidated net revenue at AED 51.7bn (US$14bn) and consolidated net profit of AED 9.0bn (US$2.4bn) for 2020.
Headquartered in Abu Dhabi, Etisalat was established over four decades ago in the UAE as the country’s first telecommunications service provider.
A blue-chip organisation, Etisalat Group provides innovative solutions and services to 155.4mn subscribers in 16 countries across the Middle East, Asia and Africa. Etisalat is ranked the strongest brand across all categories in the Middle East and Africa by Brand Finance.
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