Vodacom goes ahead with empowerment deal

Zweli Mokgata

Zweli Mokgata

Cellphone giant Vodacom said it would complete its black economic empowerment (BEE) transaction by the fourth quarter of the year despite rumours that the bidding consortiums were falling apart.

Vodacom reaffirmed that its BEE deal was going ahead in the face of indications of infighting and political manipulation.

Last month Business Times reported that Bulelani Ngcuka was dumped from one of the leading consortiums, Amandla Omoya.

Ngcuka was allegedly cut out of the process for his leading role in the indictment of newly appointed ANC president Jacob Zuma.

Vodacom and its financial adviser Rand, Merchant Bank, are in the process of structuring a BEE deal open to all black South Africans.

The bidding consortiums include Amandla Omoya, Reuel Khoza's AKA consortium, Pan African Telecoms, Vuwa consortium and Nkenke Kekana's Mowana 5M consortium.

Vodacom said: "Final negotiations have not commenced with any particular parties."

Spokesman Dot Field said: "We trust that the deal will be concluded in the fourth quarter of this year, but we cannot comment any further as that information is confidential."

Vodacom is valued at about R120billion.

The R7,5billion deal amounts to about 6,25percent of the company's value.

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