UAE telecommunications company Etisalat (e&) has increased its stake in Britain’s Vodafone Group, according to a bourse filing on Wednesday. 

The state-backed company now holds more than 3 billion shares in Vodafone, representing 11% of the UK mobile phone company’s issued share capital, excluding treasury shares, Etisalat said in a disclosure to the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX).  

A few months earlier, the telecoms provider, which recently rebranded to e&, became Vodafone’s biggest shareholder after taking almost 10% stake in the British firm for $4.4 billion. 

“The rationale of e&’s investment in Vodafone is unchanged from the original investment, as announced on 14 May 2022, which is to gain significant exposure to a world leader in connectivity and digital service at an attractive valuation,” the company said.  

The telecom provider did not disclose the value of the latest transaction. 

Etisalat reported AED 13 billion ($3.5 billion) in consolidated revenue and AED 2.5 billion in net profit for the third quarter of the year. Year-over-year profit went up by 1.9%, while revenue grew by 5.5%. 

(Reporting by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Seban Scaria)