Safaricom finalises acquisition of M-Pesa holdings from Vodafone

Thursday October 19 2023

Chief Executive Officer of Safaricom PLC Peter Ndegwa. PHOTO | BILLY OGADA | NMG


Kenya’s leading telco Safaricom has announced that it has completed the full acquisition of M-Pesa Holding Company Limited from its ultimate parent firm Vodafone Group PLC, finalising a process that was initiated in April this year.

In a statement to newsrooms on Wednesday, the telco said it had acquired a 100 percent control of the M-Pesa firm – an entity that holds hundreds of billions of shillings in customer deposits – making the mobile money product a wholly-owned subsidiary of Safaricom.

M-Pesa Holding is the corporate trustee responsible for the holding of M-Pesa customer funds under the M-Pesa trust arrangement as required by the National Payment System Regulations, 2014.

Read: Safaricom buys M-Pesa cash firm from Vodafone

It acts as the independent trustee for M-Pesa customers, independently administering the trust and holding all funds in the mobile money service.

The transaction, which was initially revealed by Vodafone in May and which saw Safaricom pay the British multinational a token amount of $1, is set to boost the Nairobi Security Exchange-listed company’s cash flows besides earning the firm interest income through investment of part of the M-Pesa war chest in short-term securities.


“The board of directors of Safaricom PLC is pleased to notify the public of the completion of the acquisition by Safaricom of the entire issued share capital of M-Pesa Holding Co. Limited from Vodafone International Holdings,” wrote Safaricom’s acting company secretary Linda Wambani.

“Completion of the transaction was subject to the satisfaction of conditions that are customary for transactions of this nature, including obtaining approval from shareholders and relevant regulators, all of which have been duly satisfied and all regulatory approvals obtained.”

The transfer of M-Pesa Holding to Safaricom marks the telco’s increased control of the major aspects of the mobile money service which was pioneered in Kenya but whose intellectual property was previously held by Vodafone.