Emirates Telecommunications Group Company (e&), a UAE-based operator, has increased its stake in British mobile phone company Vodafone Group to 14.6%, according to a regulatory filing. This is only a slight increase from its previous 14% stake, but it still represents a significant financial commitment at approximately $450 million per percentage point.
This move indicates that e& is interested in exerting influence over Vodafone and its board of directors, Bloomberg suggests.
The report said that e& opened discussions with Vodafone about its non-executive directors, indicating its desire to effect changes at the board level. It is rumored that two of Vodafone’s non-executive directors, Clara Furse and Crispin Davis, may step down this year, having each served a nine-year term, the maximum recommended under the UK’s corporate governance code. e& may be looking to capitalize on this opportunity to gain influence, Bloomberg reported.
In February, the UAE telecoms operator, formerly known as Etisalat, increased its stake in Vodafone Group, in line with its plans to diversify operations globally.
This month, e& entered into a $400 million deal to acquire a majority stake in Careem Super App, which is a spinoff from Uber. The acquisition was part of e&’s strategy to expand its consumer digital offerings. In a statement to the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX), e& announced that it had signed a binding agreement with Uber for a 50.03% stake in Careem’s Super App business.
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