CAIRO - 15 May 2022: Emirates Telecommunication Group Company PJSC (Etisalat) bought a 9.8 percent stake in Vodafone International Group for $4.4 billion, according to Bloomberg.
According to the deal, the value of the global Vodafone Group will exceed $45 billion.
Etisalat said in a statement that it had invested in Vodafone to gain significant exposure to a leading global company in the field of communication and digital services.
The move came days after Emirates said it was looking to expand into new markets in Africa, Europe and Asia, and into areas outside telecoms such as financial technology, as it seeks to drive growth, according to Reuters.
It added that the investment in the Vodafone International Group came to greatly identify a world leader in the field of communication and digital services.
Etisalat was established in 1976 and the group launched the first mobile phone network in the Middle East in 1982.
In 1983, the ownership structure changed, with the UAE government acquiring 60 percent of the company's shares, while the remaining 40 percent of the public shares were traded.
According to Reuters, the Emirati group has no intention of making an offer to buy Vodafone, saying that it fully supports the company's board of directors, the current management team and its current business strategy.
“We see this investment as a good opportunity for the company and its shareholders as it will allow us to enhance and develop our international portfolio in line with our strategic ambition,” said Hatem Dowidar, CEO of Etisalat.
The Emirati company recently divided its business into electronic services focusing on consumer and electronic services, and projects to provide digital services to the government and companies.
In the first quarter of 2022, the net profit of the Emirates Group grew by 3.6 percent year on year, recording 2.4 billion dirhams ($653.5 million).