Minority sales net Vodafone €13b

Vodafone has slashed almost €5 billion off its net debt since September 2010, by pumping the proceeds of minority stake sales into a debt reduction strategy.
The UK-headquartered operator has generated cash income of €13.4 billion from the sale of minority stakes in China Mobile, SFR and – most recently – Polkomtel. The sales are part of a strategy by chief Vittorio Colao to dispose of minority interests – or as the carrier puts it, “to realize value from its non-controlled assets.”
In addition to writing down its net debt, the firm has been pumping the proceeds of some sales into buying back its own shares. The carrier used €3.75 billion from its sale of SFR to Vivendi for this element, and €3.2 million from its China Mobile deal in 4Q10.
However the proceeds of its most recent sale – the offload of 24.4% in Polish operator Polkomtel to Spartan Capital Holdings that was agreed last week – will all go towards debt reduction.
There is still no official word on whether Vodafone will seek to sell its 45% stake in US carrier Verizon Wireless. The firm appears committed to the US operator after last week shooting down reports it will seek a $5.5 billion (€3.7 billion) dividend payment in 2012.
A spokesman told Wall Street Journal the figure is a mathematical maximum and doesn’t signal a change in its strategy towards the US carrier.

Suggested Articles

Wireless operators can provide 5G services with spectrum bands both above and below 6 GHz—but that doesn't mean that all countries will let them.

Here are the stories we’re tracking today.

The 5G Mobile Network Architecture research project will implement two 5G use cases in real-world test beds.