e&, the UAE-based biggest multinational telecommunications services provider, has acquired a 9.8 percent stake in British mobile carrier Vodafone Group for $4.4 billion as it seeks to diversify operations globally.
The move follows an announcement by e& that it is looking to expand into new markets in Africa, Europe and Asia and in areas outside telecoms such as financial technology as it seeks to drive growth.
e& acquired approximately 2,766 million shares in Vodafone and stated it made the investment to gain “significant exposure to a world leader in connectivity and digital services”.
“Our investment represents a unique opportunity to acquire a significant stake in one of the leading and strongest global telecom brands, and a company that we know well. We are looking forward to building a mutually beneficial strategic partnership with Vodafone with the goal of driving value creation for both our businesses, exploring opportunities in the rapidly developing global telecom market and supporting the adoption of next-generation technologies.”
Earlier this year, e& separated its business into consumer services-focused e& life, and e& enterprise to provide digital services to government and business, and telecoms arm Etisalat, which is the world’s seventh largest by market capitalization.
The Etisalat Group rebranded as ‘e&’ in February this year, marking the Group’s transformation ambitions to a global technology and investment conglomerate.
In August 2021, Etisalat acquired an additional stake in a Moroccan company, Maroc Telecom Group, increasing its effective ownership from 48.4 percent to 53 percent.
Vodafone said it looked forward to building a long-term relationship with e&. The acquisition will fully support Vodafone’s current business strategy, its board and its existing management team.