Yebo for everyone
But comparisons to MTN Asonge scheme unfair
WHILE analysts may be quibbling about whether Vodacom’s YeboYetho deal constitutes better or worse value than other black economic empowerment offerings, the consensus seems to be the deal offers a good opportunity to gain access to the company. In line with similar offers from MTN and (more recently) Sasol, Vodacom is offering around R360m of shares in a holding company – YeboYethu – to its business partners and SA’s black population.
Speaking at the announcement last week, outgoing Vodacom CEO Alan KnottCraig commented the various parties had negotiated the offer’s pricing over the three years that the deal had been in the works.
Kulekani Dlamini, analyst at Renais- sance Specialist Fund Managers, says the R120bn valuation placed on Vodacom’s SA operations is something of a best guess as there’s no market value for Vodacom. However, he says given the lower growth expectations for Vodacom compared to MTN in the SA market, the deal is priced at a premium to MTN’s Asonge share scheme last year. But Dlamini says just because it’s priced at a premium doesn’t mean it’s not a good deal.
Palavi Ambekar, portfolio manager at Coronation Fund Managers, says a comparison between the Asonke scheme and Vodacom’s YeboYethu deal is not necessarily fair. That’s because the Asonge scheme wasn’t initiated but a straight sale of exist- ing shares at a discount from the National Empowerment Fund. The YeboYethu deal is an issue of shares in a new company by Vodacom, with its funding provided by Vodacom.
The YeboYethu deal allows black South Africans to buy shares in Vodacom’s SA subsidiary at a price of R25 each, with the minimum being 100 shares and the maximum 1,44m shares.
Ambekar says the funding of the deal by Vodacom will give the smallest investors (those who have put up R2 500) more than R15 000 of exposure to Vodacom SA.