UAE-based telecom-tech company e& has increased its stake in Vodafone plc to 14%, making it the largest external shareholder in the UK telco. Abu Dhabi-listed e&, which first bought a stake of 9.8% in Vodafone last May, now owns 3.79 billion shares. However, e& maintains that it has not made any offers to acquire Vodafone despite the increased stake. The first stake purchase was made last year for over $4 billion.
Vodafone has also denied any takeover bids, but market analysts are speculating on e&'s end game. Despite the speculations, e& has reported a strong set of numbers for its 2022 financials and is pursuing growth strategies across multiple fronts.
Why it matters
The UAE company first acquired about 2.76 billion shares, or a 9.8% stake in Vodafone, for $4.4 billion in May before increasing its share to 11% in early December, before steadily increasing it to 13% earlier in the month. E& is embarking on a strategy of acquiring assets from telecom companies abroad to broaden its revenue base. It is pursuing a two-pronged strategy of expanding its telecom asset base, integrating emerging technologies, and supporting the rapidly expanding start-up community.