e& takes Vodafone board seat, deepens relationship

e& takes Vodafone board seat, deepens relationship

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e& will take a seat on the Vodafone board as the relationship between the two continues to expand.

The two will collaborate across a broad range of growth areas, the two firms announced.

These areas include enterprise – where e& and Vodafone will explore cross-border digital services and solutions, services – including fixed and mobile connectivity, mobile private networks, IoT, cybersecurity and cloud-based services.

Hatem Dowidar, chief executive of e& will join Vodafone’s board as the company retains its 14.6% stake in the operator.

If the holding climbs above 20%, then e& will be able to nominate a second non-executive director.

The UAE-based group reportedly informed investors last week that it was considering increasing its stake to over 20% to secure “enough influence” according to a source from the FT.

Dowidar said: “Our investment in Vodafone is anchored by Vodafone Group's established position and worldwide reputation as a prominent industry player that provides cutting-edge connectivity and digital services. This aligns with e&'s vision of becoming a global telecom and technology player.

“We extend a warm welcome to Margherita Della Valle as Vodafone's newly appointed group chief executive officer, and we have full confidence in her leadership abilities to steer the company toward growth.

“We are convinced that our strategic relationship will unlock opportunities for both companies to explore the swiftly expanding global telecom market and next-generation technologies.”

As for Vodafone, the group has been under increased pressure from activist investor Cevian Capital.

The operator recently appointed Margherita Della Valle as the first female chief executive of the company, months after the CFO took the reins as interim chief.

Della Valle said: “We know e& well, and I’m delighted we will strengthen our existing relationship through this strategic relationship.

“This will allow us to capture efficiency-enhancing opportunities in our respective markets and brings additional telecoms experience to our Board.”

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