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Vodafone Egypt eyes online revenue

Becomes a majority shareholder in regional online business, Sarmady Communications.

As part of a major development in Vodafone Egypt’s internet strategy, the telecom operator is now a majority shareholder in Sarmady Communications (Sarcom). 

Acquisition of the Cairo-based digital media specialist advances Vodafone’s new revenue generating channels - mobile internet and online advertising.

“This acquisition is pivotal in moving Vodafone into the heart of the internet space in Egypt and we can see both significant opportunities for advertisers and a great experience for consumers as a result. There is no doubt that the growth in internet use will be one of the key enablers in the advancement of Egypt," said Richard Daly, CEO of Vodafone Egypt.

Through Sarcom, Vodafone now owns some of the largest online property in the region, including FilGoal.com, which attracted around 160 million page views last year from over nine million users.

Sarcom publishes a suite of online ‘magazines' read by over 800,000 readers a week, and a growth rate of 100 percent annually for the last three years. Other Sarcom brands include Contactcars.com, FilBalad.com and FilFan.com with two new sites, Mangam.com and iCroc.com, added to its portfolio.

Commenting on the alliance, Con O’Donnell, CEO of Sarcom, said that “the investment capacity from Vodafone Egypt coupled with our already strong working relationship will enable us to provide ever-richer content to customers as well as develop digital advertising in Egypt. We believe there are exciting growth opportunities with this expanding industry.”

Vodafone Egypt declined to comment on how much the deal was worth.