Emirates Telecommunications Group (e&) and Vodafone Group have announced a strategic relationship to strengthen their collaboration and business synergy. This agreement comes following e&'s significant investment in Vodafone over the past year, according to the exchange filing. To recollect Vodafone Group's biggest shareholder, Emirates Telecommunications Group, has initiated talks with the troubled British Telecom group to push for changes on its board in April 2023.
The relationship between the two telecom operators has evolved to the next phase through a relationship agreement, establishing e& as a "cornerstone shareholder" of Vodafone. This agreement builds upon their initial partnership that began in May 2022 when e& first invested in Vodafone and acquired a 9.8 percent stake.
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Key Areas of Collaboration
According to the exchange filing, The strategic relationship unlocks opportunities for collaboration in various growth areas, leveraging the operational scale and complementary geographic presence of Emirates Telecommunications and Vodafone Group.
The key areas of commercial collaboration include enterprise services such as cross-border digital solutions for multinational customers and public sector organizations. This encompasses fixed and mobile connectivity, Mobile Private Networks, IoT, cybersecurity, and cloud-based services.
In addition, Vodafone and e& will explore joint procurement initiatives to share best practices. They also aim to establish themselves as preferred partners in carrier, wholesale, and roaming services, providing access to high-quality digital infrastructure.
Collaboration in technology is another key aspect of the strategic relationship. Both companies will work together on a technology roadmap, including the evolution and adoption of OpenRAN.
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e&'s seat on Vodafone Board
As part of the Relationship Agreement, the Group CEO of e& will join the Vodafone Board as a non-executive Director. This appointment is subject to e& maintaining its current 14.6 percent shareholding in Vodafone. Furthermore, e& will have the opportunity to nominate a second non-executive Director, who will be independent of e& if its shareholding exceeds 20 per cent (subject to regulatory approvals).
These appointments and terms are subject to regulatory approval by e& and signify the deepening collaboration and mutual commitment between the two telecom giants. The strategic relationship aims to capitalize on market opportunities, foster innovation, and drive growth in the telecom industry.