UAE state-controlled telecom group becomes biggest shareholder in British phone giant Vodafone
The Emirates Telecommunications Group, which recently rebranded to e& from Etisalaat, purchased the stake for £3.3 billion and is now Vodafone's biggest shareholder.
The investment has seen Vodafone shares jump by 4 percent.
The Emirati company said it has no plans for a takeover bid and made the investment "to gain significant exposure to a world leader in connectivity and digital services", reported The Guardian.
"Vodafone is one of the strongest and most globally recognised brands across the telecom industry. It is a pioneer of digital transformation, offering some of the most advanced technology and next-generation solutions, including IoT, Telematics, B2B solutions and FinTech services, within the telecom industry and for the benefit of the wider society," it added.
E& said it supported the UK telecoms provider's board, which has come under pressure from investors over the past few years for struggling to compete in the European market.
Vodafone already has a strong presence in the Middle East, including in Egypt - the Arab world's largest country by population - as well as Qatar and Oman.
The Emirati telecoms company recently purchased a 53 percent stake in Maroc Telecom and acquired the Emirati online grocery store ElGrocer.