The move comes just days after E&D said it seeks to expand to new markets in Africa, Europe and Asia, and to drive the growth of financial technology in areas beyond telecom.
Vodafone, like all mobile operators, is battling its more mature market, where competition and control have reduced prices.
The group’s net debt has reached 44.3 billion euros ($ 46.1 billion), and its chief executive Nick Reid has been under pressure to simplify its portfolio and improve returns since its share price slipped more than 20% since taking office in 2018.
Vodafone says it is looking forward to building a long-term relationship with the UAE-based E&D.
“We are making good progress with our long-term strategic plans and will provide an update on our FY22 results announcement on May 17,” it said in a statement.
E&D says it has invested in achieving “significant exposure to connectivity and digital services world leaders.”
It added that it had no intention of making an offer to buy Vodafone, saying it fully supported the company’s current business strategy and its board and existing management team.
“We see this investment as a great opportunity for E&D and its shareholders as it will allow us to grow and develop our international portfolio in line with our strategic ambitions,” said CEO Hatem Douidar.
The UAE firm recently separated its business into consumer service-focused E&L, E&E, government and business digital services provider and telecom arm Etisalat, which its CEO says is the seventh largest in the world in terms of market capitalization.
(1 = 0.9605 euros) (Reporting by Shivani Tanna in Bangalore and Saeed Azhar in Dubai; Additional reporting by Kate Holton and Michael Holden in London; Editing by Kirsten Donovan and John Harvey)