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More than 85,000 black investors and about 8,500 current and past employees will soon reap the benefits of Vodacom’s recent R16.4bn broad-based black economic empowerment (BEE) transaction. This BEE transaction (which remains subject to regulatory approval) by South Africa’s biggest mobile operator will be the largest in the information and communication technology (ICT) sector in South Africa to date. Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) played a pivotal role in advising, structuring and arranging the funding for this landmark transaction. The new YeboYethu BEE structure involves the amalgamation of the combined interests of Vodacom’s existing BEE partners (Royal Bafokeng Holdings, Thebe Investment Corporation and YeboYethu) with a newly formed Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). This new BEE structure will replace the old R7.5bn Vodacom (Pty) Ltd (Vodacom SA) BEE ownership scheme that was announced in 2008, and will remain listed on the BEE segment of the JSE. “The new ESOP, funded by a R1....

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