“I don’t know in what way splitting it will actually create any value for our shareholders,” said Peter Moyo, chairman of Vodacom Group Ltd., the Vodafone unit that generates more than $7 billion in annual revenue in Africa. “I’m not too sure in what way it will assist. None of the shareholders are clamoring for it. None of them are actually putting any pressure on us to push for it.”
In a phone interview on Thursday, the chairman said he was involved in discussions about the possibility of a separation of Vodafone’s so-called AMAP business with shareholders in the U.K., U.S. and South Africa, although he hasn’t discussed the matter with Vodafone. The U.K. company owns 65% of Vodacom, which has customers in Mozambique, Tanzania, Lesotho and the Democratic Republic of Congo as well as South Africa. The AMAP division, which also includes countries from Egypt to Turkey and India to Australia, is led by Serpil Timuray.
Investors “mentioned that they believe that this might be a possibility, but they’ve not been urging us to do something about it,” Moyo said. “Vodacom is a very big contributor and it’s fair to say that Vodafone really loves Vodacom. I will be surprised if they are thinking of spinning us off.”
Vodacom has more than 63 million customers and is the market leader in South Africa. Sales rose 7% to R19.6 billion last quarter, driven by international data sales. Vodafone also owns about 40% of Nairobi-based Safaricom Ltd., Kenya’s biggest wireless carrier.
Vodacom shares have gained 9.5% this year, compared with a 2.7% decline in London-listed Vodafone. The African unit has market value of $15.7 billion, compared with almost $90 billion at Vodafone.
©2015 Bloomberg News