Vodafone to complete 20% stake acquisition of Bee, Masary in 3 months: Source

Mohamed Alaa El-Din
4 Min Read

Vodafone Egypt will complete the due diligence on Bee and Masary within a maximum of three months, in preparation for its 20% acquisition of the two companies, a source close to the deal told Daily News Egypt. 

Vodafone signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), on Tuesday, with Ebtikar Holding Company for Financial Investments, the owner of the two electronic payments (e-payments) companies.

The MoU paves the way for Vodafone Egypt to participate in the two e-payment platforms’ capital subscription with a 20% stake each.

It forms part of Vodafone Egypt’s plan to increase its investments in the Egyptian market, and provide various digital payment services to its individual and corporate clients. 

This is in addition to investments in the network to improve service, enhance the support of digital transformation, and apply the concept of financial inclusion in Egyptian society.

During his visit to Egypt and his meeting with President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi in December, Vodafone Group CEO Nick Reed said that Egypt has seen an increase in investments. This has particularly been seen in digital transformation and providing more services to achieve financial inclusion. 

Reed noted the possibility of Egypt being an important centre for these services in Africa. He also highlighted expanding regionally and exchanging experiences in this field, in order to support the achievement of Egypt’s Vision 2030.

The MoU was signed in the presence of: Mohamed Abdallah, CEO of Vodafone Egypt; Karim Eid, Head of the Commercial Sector of Vodafone Egypt; Rasha Al-Azhari, Head of the Financial Sector; Ayman Essam, Head of the External and Legal Relations Sector; Khaled Mohamed Mahmoud, Member of the Board of Directors of Ebtikar and Chairperson of the MM Group Group; and Ayman El-Desouky, CEO of Ebtikar and Chairperson of Bee.

As soon as this transaction is completed, Bee and Masary are committed to all agreements and partnerships concluded with all parties operating in the Egyptian market without change. 

This step is expected to accelerate the growth of the two companies’ business volume, and contribute to the development of the work system and services provided by both companies. 

Vodafone Egypt will contribute with its expertise in Africa and will work on the regional expansion of Bee and Masary. Vodafone is one of the top mobile networks that provides digital payments services and e-wallets through its “Vodafone Cash” service.

Regarding the IPO for Ebtikar, sources note that the plans for a listing in the second half (H2) of 2021 remain very much in place, and that the deal is only expected to provide a further boost to valuations.

Sources expect that Vodafone will, at a later stage, buy the 20% stake in Masary and Bee, by purchasing a direct stake in Ebtikar, the owner of the two companies. The company may also increase this share later after the offering is made on the Egyptian Exchange (EGX).

Bee and Masary are two of the top electronic payments companies. They have been working in the Egyptian market for more than 10 years, providing over 800 payment services through 110,000 points of sale (POS). 

The two companies contribute to implementing and disseminating the initiatives of the National Council for Payments and the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) for digital transformation and financial inclusion.

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