Thursday, December 28, 2006


Here is an interesting idea. The best way of getting rid of the
questions regarding the identity of Mobitelea is through Vodafone Plc.
Someone (preferably Kenyan) should buy 100 shares in Vodafone Plc (UK listed company) and then ask the Board questions about Mobitelea-Safaricom shareholding at the next AGM(Annual General Meeting) in 2007.
The issue will be settled, quickly and cheaply without any Commissions of Inquiry and Task-forces being appointed.

By the way this idea is inspired by a story (which I cant verify). I heard that
GREENPEACE (the guys and gals who used to chain themselves to ships and trains carrying toxic waste) used it.
Several years ago, GREENPEACE needed to ask
BP Plc (the oil giant) a couple of questions about oil exploration and the Environment. They went to the management of BP but were unsatisfied with the answers they were getting.

Someone had a brainwave and decided, why not buy a couple of BP shares then ask the questions as a shareholder at the AGM.
Of course asking the questions as a shareholder had a better response for GREENPEACE.

Oh and if anyone knows more about the GREENPEACE/BP story in detail do tell.


MainaT said...

Pesa-tu, already thought of this. However, my issue is that I don't think that in the eyes of UK laws, Vod will have any problems. They have always disclosed what portion of Safaricom they own.

The question to Vod would only work if it wa framed around why given that Vod say that it only holds 35% does it want another 9% as this would still not give it the 51% for control?

Steve said...

Here is a link to the BP/Greenpeace saga.

mwasjd said...

If Vodafone didn't consult the govt before selling the 5% to Mobitelea, does it mean that the govt did not have pre-emtive rights, or Vodafone buldozed the deal through?

If it is the latter, does it mean that Vodafone gave up it's right to question the govt on pre-emptive rights, thus meaning the govt can get the highest bidder (e.g. other investor, NSE shareholders) for the % it is selling without considering Vodafone??

pesa tu said...

MainaT-No vodafone hasnt broken any UK law.but if it gives us a breakdown of the holding co. structure between Vodafone Kenya Ltd and Vodaone PLc. we can trace where Mobitelea is based/registered.

Safaricom has a shareholder management agreement that gives Vodafone more control than the actual shares that it owns.Plus it has two extra shares under the agmt that gives it some sort of veto on some mgt. decisions.
thats why the numbers dont add up.

@Steve: thanks man.

pesa tu said...

@mwasjd:Vodafone didnt need to consult Govt. since it sold to Mobitelea a stake in Vodafone Kenya ltd.Not a stake in Safaricom.
Remember that Vodafone Kenya Ltd is a private company where the government isnt a shareholder.
However, Vodafone Kenya ltd's. main asset is 40% of by owning a piece of Vodafone Kenya Ltd, Mobitelea indirectly owns a piece of Safaricom i.e. 5%.
Thats why Vodafone Plc uses words like 'Indirect' and 'effective' in describing its Safaricom stake.Because thats the legally correct way of describing the nature of the holding in Safaricom.
Pre-emptive rights on Safaricom apply to Govt. and Vodafone Plc because its a private co.
However, if vodafone Plc. turns down the offer made by Gvt. the way is clear for an IPO.

Anonymous said...

Well I know exactly who was behind Mobitelea in 2000. However you have to read the Daily Telegraph article on the shareholding structure to understand the structure of the share transactions between VKL, Vodafone Holdings NV and Mobitelea to understand that Mobitelea had to stump up cash for the shares to Vodafone to acquire 25% of VKL of which half were subsequently sold back (at a profit for Mobitelea to Vodafone Holdings).

Anonymous said...

MOBITELEA in full stands for MOi BIwott TELecommunication East Africa. Don't give yourself ulcers thinking when from the acronyms you have a better idea.

pesa tu said...

@Anon: Poor u torturing ur mind to come up with wierd acronyms.
Just come up with the FACTS