While the investment community digested Vodafone's first half financial results, the new CEO, Vittorio Colao, quietly let slip he would be adopting a more cautious approach to future acquisitions than had been adopted by his predecessors.
Colao indicated Vodafone's expansion into developing countries might be nearing completion, saying there were few new markets that attracted his interest. Building on this theme, Colao said any large acquisition would probably have to be funded through disposals--a distinct reversal from the past strategy and the first time Vodafone has taken such a conservative position.
One obvious outcome from this revised strategy will be to give fresh impetus to the ongoing speculation Vodafone will sell off its Verizon Wireless shareholding, albeit that Colao made no comment on this subject. What he does want, apparently, is consolidation between mobile operators in existing markets, notably Europe, with an indication that the company was willing, for the first time, to buy rivals.
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