South African govt considers $2.3B Vodacom sale — report - Mobile World Live

South African govt considers $2.3B Vodacom sale — report

15 OCT 2014

South Africa’s government is studying a possible sale of its 14 per cent stake in Vodacom, which is worth in the region of $2.3 billion, according to Bloomberg.

The government has approached financial advisers to discuss a possible sale, according to unnamed sources, which said an institutional sale is more likely than a private one – although 65 per cent shareholder Vodafone could be interested.

A deal is not thought to be imminent.

Vodacom is South Africa’s largest operator with 35 million mobile connections (GSMA Intelligence, Q3, 2014 figures). In addition, it holds stake in operators in Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Mozambique and Tanzania.

The South African government is thought to want to use the proceeds to save a struggling state power utility called Eskom Holdings.

Asked about a possible sale, the government treasury responded: “When government takes such decisions, it would have to handle information with extreme care, bearing in mind that some of the entities are listed and any decision involving them is market sensitive and is governed by strict laws and regulations which must be abided by at all times”.

“At appropriate times government has an obligation to publish its decisions and explain their rationale.,” it added.

Vodacom said it was not aware of plans for a sale. Vodafone did not comment.

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Richard Handford

Richard is the editor of Mobile World Live’s money channel and a contributor to the daily news service. He is an experienced technology and business journalist who previously worked as a freelancer for many publications over the last decade including...

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