Vodafone and Qatar Foundation take first steps towards launch of Vodafone Qatar
Doha, April 23, 2008
Vodafone Group Plc (“Vodafone”) and the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (“Qatar Foundation”) today announce that they have taken a number of important decisions in anticipation of the granting of the second mobile license (“License”) by the Supreme Council of Information and Communication Technology (“ictQATAR”) and pending other regulatory approvals. Vodafone and the Qatar Foundation Consortium, was named as the Successful Applicant in the auction for the License in December 2007.
Vodafone and Qatar Foundation LLC is a Qatari Limited Liability Company, which pending government and regulatory approvals and the granting of the License, will hold 45% of the share capital of the second mobile license company. Vodafone Europe B.V. (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Vodafone Group Plc) and the Qatar Foundation hold 51% and 49% of the share capital of Vodafone and Qatar Foundation LLC respectively. The Board comprises Ian Gray, Chairman (Vodafone), Rashid Al Naimi (Qatar Foundation), Sheikh Hamad Bin Nasser Al Thani (Qatar Foundation), Matthew Harrison-Harvey (Vodafone), and Paul Astley (Vodafone).
It is intended that this second mobile license company will operate under the name of Vodafone Qatar Q.S.C. (“Vodafone Qatar”). Besides Vodafone and Qatar Foundation LLC, government institutions will hold 15% of the share capital of Vodafone Qatar and 40% of the share capital will be allocated to an initial public offering for Qatari nationals on the Doha Securities Market as required by the License and the Mobile License Application Procedures published by ictQATAR on July 8, 2007.
The Board wishes to announce that it has taken the following decisions:
(1)The instruction to commence applications for government and regulatory approvals required to incorporate Vodafone Qatar;
(2)The intention to appoint Grahame Maher as Chief Executive Officer of Vodafone Qatar; and
(3)The intention to appoint HSBC Middle East Ltd and Qatar National Bank as joint lead advisers on the prospective initial public offering of 40% of Vodafone Qatar (“Vodafone Qatar IPO”) as required by the License. These appointments will be tabled for ratification at the first board meeting of Vodafone Qatar.
Commenting on the announcement, Ian Gray, Chairman of Vodafone and Qatar Foundation LLC said: “We have made important decisions in relation to the establishment of Vodafone Qatar. Shortly, we will commence applications for the required government and regulatory approvals to incorporate Vodafone Qatar and secure the granting of the second mobile license in Qatar.
I am delighted that the Board has agreed to announce its intention to appoint Grahame Maher as Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”) of Vodafone Qatar. Grahame will join Vodafone Qatar from Vodafone Czech Republic where he held the role of CEO. During his time in the Czech Republic he oversaw growth in market penetration, revenue and launched a number of innovative new services. Grahame has also served as CEO for Vodafone in Sweden, Australia and New Zealand. In each case he has led the organizations through significant change and development.”
Rashid Al Naimi, VP for Administration at Qatar Foundation said: “It is very exciting to see this important new venture taking shape. Qatar Foundation has a clear strategy to attract innovative and technology focused companies that will support Qatar’s mission to develop a knowledge based economy whilst at the same time providing employment opportunities, knowledge transfer and improved mobile services for the people of Qatar. Vodafone Qatar will deliver on all of these objectives and we look forward to seeing the company take its place in Qatar’s fast growing telecoms market.”
The announcement of the Board’s intention to appoint advisers is an important step in the preparations towards the Vodafone Qatar IPO. Further details about the Vodafone Qatar IPO and the plans for Vodafone Qatar will be communicated at a later date, subject to obtaining required government and regulatory approvals and the granting of the second mobile license.