e& and Vodafone Group Plc have agreed to a strategic relationship that will bring certain aspects of the two operators’ businesses closer together across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
As part of this strategic relationship, e& and Vodafone have entered into a relationship agreement that establishes e& as a cornerstone shareholder of Vodafone. This is the next phase in a strategic relationship that began in May 2022, when e& made its original investment in Vodafone.
Earlier this year, the Abu Dhabi-based telco owned 3.27 billion shares in the British company, representing 12% of Vodafone's issued share capital.
Under the terms of the new Relationship Agreement, the Group Chief Executive Officer of e& will join the Vodafone Board as a non-executive Director for as long as e& maintains its current shareholding of 14.6%. e& will also have the ability to nominate a second non-executive Director, independent of e&, if its shareholding exceeds 20%.
Hatem Dowidar, Group Chief Executive Officer of e&, said, “Our investment in Vodafone is anchored by Vodafone Group's established position and worldwide reputation as a prominent industry player that provides cutting-edge connectivity and digital services. This aligns with e&'s vision of becoming a global telecom and technology player.”
Margherita Della Valle, Vodafone Group Chief Executive, said, “We know e& well, and I’m delighted we will strengthen our existing relationship through this strategic relationship. This will allow us to capture efficiency-enhancing opportunities in our respective markets and brings additional telecoms experience to our Board.”
The strategic relationship also enables collaboration across a broad range of growth areas, as e& and Vodafone may be able to benefit from each other’s respective operational scale and complementary geographic footprint. The key areas of commercial collaboration that e& and Vodafone will initially pursue include:
- In Enterprise, e& and Vodafone will explore jointly offering cross-border digital services and solutions to multi-national customers and public sector organizations. Services will include fixed and mobile connectivity, mobile private networks, IoT, cybersecurity and cloud-based services.
- In Procurement, e& and Vodafone will seek to share best practices and may adopt joint procurement.
- In Carrier, Wholesale and Roaming, the two operators will work together to become the partner of choice in providing access to high-quality digital infrastructure.
- In Technology, both teams will seek to work together on a technology roadmap.