Vodacom announced a proposed ZAR35 billion ($2.6 billion) acquisition of a 35 per cent stake in Kenyan operator Safaricom from parent company Vodafone Group is now complete.

Vodafone Group said its subsidiary, Vodafone International Holdings, completed the transfer while retaining a 5 per cent indirect stake.

In a statement, Vodacom said it obtained regulatory approvals in Kenya and South Africa, and its shareholders approved the deal along with the issuance of 233 million new ordinary shares to Vodafone, bringing Vodafone’s stake in Vodacom up from 65 per cent to almost 70 per cent.

Vodacom CFO Till Streichert described the deal as the largest in the company’s history and said it would provide opportunities for growth as well as enable Vodacom shareholders “to access a strong performing business in East Africa in a high growth market.”

“We expect this transformational transaction will enhance our position as a leading African mobile communications company, providing the group with the perfect opportunity to diversify our financial profile,” he added.

Vodacom’s CEO Shameel Joosub in July said the operator will become one of the strongest players in Africa’s burgeoning mobile money market after the completion of the deal.