Vodafone could sell its 45% stake in French mobile operator SFR to joint venture partner Vivendi by the end of the year, according to MF Global.
John Karidis, an analyst at the firm, expects a deal to happen “either side of year-end 2010,” the Telegraph said.
Vivendi is set to receive $5.8 billion (€4.37 billion) for the sale of its 20% stake in NBC Universal to Comcast around the same time, and will likely use the proceeds to fund the SFR acquisition, Karidis said.
The SFR deal would also help Vodafone in negotiations on selling its 45% stake in Verizon Wireless, Karidis added.
Verizon and Vodafone bosses have held secret talks over the future of the US wireless operator, which could result in the resumption of dividend payments to Vodafone in 2012.
Rumors of a sale earlier this month valued Vodafone’s stake in SFR at €8.4 billion, and the deal would be in-line with CEO Vittorio Colao’s aim to ditch minority holdings and focus on its core markets in Europe, Africa and India.
The company sold its 3.2% stake in China Mobile for £4.3 billion (€5.2 billion) a fortnight ago, as part of that goal.