UAE-based e& continued to accumulate Vodafone Group shares, adding an additional percentage of the company’s issued share capital for the third consecutive month.

In a stock market statement, e& noted it had reached a 13 per cent holding and reiterated the rationale for the investment was the same as when it paid $4.4 billion for a 9.8 per cent holding in May 2022.

When it first bought a stake, e& released a statement backing Vodafone, highlighting an aim to explore joint opportunities and increase its exposure to international markets. This has been referred back to in subsequent transactions.

Even before the latest accumulation, e& was Vodafone’s largest shareholder, data published on stock market data website MarketScreener showed.

In its latest data, which still lists e& at 12 per cent, the next largest shareholders are Norges Bank Investment Management on 3.12 per cent and The Vanguard Group on 2.99 per cent. Statistics do not include Vodafone treasury shares.

The latest buy comes the week Vodafone released its latest trading update, where interim CEO Margherita Della Valle acknowledged there was room for improvement in its performance in Europe with slowdown in a number of major markets.