Emirates Telecommunications becomes Vodafone’s biggest shareholder in £3.3 billion deal

Vodafone UK Newbury headquarters sq

Middle Eastern telecoms group Emirates Telecommunications has acquired almost ten per cent of Vodafone shares to become the Newbury-based firm’s biggest shareholder.

The state-controlled group, which recently rebranded from Etisalat to e&, spent £3.3 billion on its 9.8 per cent acquisition over the weekend.

The Abu Dhabi-based group, which has created a special holding company – Atlas 2022 – to control the Vodafone stake, said it did not intend to launch a full takeover bid.

“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,” said Hatem Dowidar, group CEO of e&.

“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.

“We see this investment as a good opportunity for e& and its shareholders as it will allow us to enhance and develop our international portfolio, in line with our strategic ambition.”