Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore announced the operator would form a joint venture with its largest shareholder Vodacom to acquire IP related to m-Pesa from Vodafone Group, Reuters reported.
The transaction, said to be worth $13 million, will mean the two companies no longer have to pay royalties on mobile money revenue directly to Vodafone.
In an interview with the news agency, Collymore said taking ownership of the brand would help in its long-vaunted aim to export the platform to new markets in Africa.
One of the countries noted by the executive as holding an opportunity is Ethiopia, which is tipped to be preparing to open up specific industries to foreign companies.
Collymore added the ability to shape and determine the future of the service was more important than the significant financial saving from not paying royalties.
Safaricom and Vodacom’s yet-to-be-formed venture will also have to get the transaction through regulators in South Africa and Kenya, a process Collymore was confident would be complete by the end of 2019.
The three current companies involved in the deal are already closely related.
Vodacom owns almost 35 per cent of Safaricom with Vodafone holding a 5 per cent stake in the Kenyan operator.
The UK-headquartered group owns almost 65 per cent of Vodacom, though this is set to reduce to just over 60 per cent by 2028 after the completion of an employee share scheme in South AfricaSubscribe to our daily newsletter Back