Vodacom is busy structuring a complex broad-based BEE transaction that should be ready to roll out in the third quarter of this year. The R7,5-billion deal will include shareholding from staff, the public and a strategic partner yet to be announced.
Details are still being finalised, but the transaction will include a significant offer to previously disadvantaged individuals and groups, according to a statement released by the company yesterday.
Participants will include Vodacom’s South African staff (25%), the black South African public and Vodacom SA business partners, and strategic shareholders including established broad-based BEE groupings.
In line with Vodacom’s empowerment objectives, this BEE transaction has been designed to provide long term benefits to a broad group of black South Africans, with a focus on lower income groups.
For its strategic BEE partner, Vodacom is currently running what it calls "a robust and objective partner selection process to determine the composition of the BEE participants". Final negotiations are not yet in hand with any particular party.
Short-listed parties have been provided with an indicative term sheet, which will allow them to indicate their ability to participate in the BEE transaction in accordance with the terms.
As far as public participation goes, all black South African citizens and black-owned entities will be eligible to participate in the BEE transaction through a public share offer.
The BEE transaction will be financed through an optimal combination of equity and substantial facilitation from Vodacom through vendor funding. The public and strategic participants will be required to provide a level of unencumbered equity, which will be supported by appropriate Vodacom facilitation.
“Our BEE transaction is well on track. It will be broad-based including our staff, the public and strategic partners who contribute meaningfully to our business. We expect to announce the full details of the transaction in the third quarter of this year,” says Alan Knott-Craig, CEO of Vodacom.