Kenyan operator Safaricom has disclosed a 50 percent ownership of M-Pesa after it and South Africa’s Vodacom acquired the mobile money platform from the UK’s Vodafone for KES 2.14 billion, Business Daily reported. In its annual report for the year to March, Safaricom says that the two partners split the acquisition costs equally, with each holding 50 percent of the newly created joint venture M-Pesa Global Services.
The ownership structure gives Safaricom and Vodacom an equal say in M-Pesa, unlike before when the UK multinational fully owned the brand. The annual report says decisions by the joint venture to declare and pay any dividends or make any capital distribution to shareholders must have the prior written consent of the existing shareholders.
Safaricom recently appointed the head of its financial services division, Sitoyo Lopokoiyit, interim CEO of the M-Pesa joint venture. Vodacom and Vodafone own a combined 40 percent stake in Safaricom, which pioneered the M-Pesa service.