The UAE-based firm expects the stake to result in potential commercial partnerships in the areas of R&D, technological applications, and procurement


Emirates Telecommunications invests $4.4bn in Vodafone. (Credit: Zarateman/Wikimedia Commons)

Emirates Telecommunications Group (e&) has acquired a stake of 9.8% in Vodafone Group for $4.4bn by purchasing 2,766 million shares of the British technology communications company.

Formerly called Etisalat Group, the UAE-based company, bought the shares through its fully-owned subsidiary Atlas 2022 Holdings.

Atlas 2022 Holdings has been incorporated only for the purpose of holding the stakes in Vodafone.

According to Emirates Telecommunications, its investment in Vodafone will help it get considerable exposure to the global major in connectivity and digital services.

The company said that the investment makes highly efficient use of its robust balance sheet at an attractive and compelling valuation alongside strong currency diversification benefits.

It stated further that the strong reputation of Vodafone for being a top digital-first operator, supported by its rigorous approach to corporate governance along with well-regulated global footprint, makes it an attractive opportunity at this current time.

The investment also gives a clear opportunity for realising future value by means of potential capital gains and dividends, said Emirates Telecommunications.

The UAE-based firm expects the stake in Vodafone to result in potential commercial partnerships in the areas of research and development (R&D), technological applications, and procurement. The deal is aligned fully with its announced goal to be a global player in telecommunications as well as technology and to boost its exposure to international markets, said Emirates Telecommunications.

Emirates Telecommunications group CEO Hatem Dowidar said: “Vodafone is one of the leading businesses at the heart of digital communications in Europe and Africa with a compelling business offering critical 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 telecoms market and supporting the adoption of next-generation technologies.”

Earlier this year, Vodafone partnered with Samsung Electronics to launch the first 5G Open Radio Access Network (RAN) site in the UK, located in Bath to carry live customer traffic.