Vodafone is to spend Â£1.4 billion ($2.2bn) to gain a 15% controlling share of Vodacom, South Africa's largest mobile phone operator. Vodafone already own half of Vodacom, with the other half owned by South Africa's incumbent operator, Telkom. A 65% stake puts Vodafone in the driving seat, but it could well still find that it has not entirely rid itself of the dead hand of indirect state ownership.
Vodafone will assume Vodacom's Â£100 million of net debt, taking the deal value to Â£1.4 billion.
As growth in industrialised countries slows, like so many other operators and vendors, the world's largest mobile operator by revenue looking to expand into developing economies and will use South Africa as its bridgehead into other African countries, according to the Financial Times.
It already has operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Mozambique and Tanzania.