A Vodafone Group investor says it has assembled enough shareholder support to demand Vodafone present options for restructuring, specifically, its stake in Verizon Wireless. Vodafone holds a 45 percent stake in the U.S. carrier while Verizon Communications owns the balance. Vodafone investors are required to own 5 percent of the company's shares or have the support of at least 100 shareholders. Efficient Capital Structures, the investor demanding the restructuring plans, says it has the necessary 100 shareholder signatures.
Following a busy month of M&A, the pressure from Vodafone's shareholders is not unexpected. Some analysts have recently argued that the company may be worth more in its parts than it is whole. Some rumors have cast AT&T as Vodafone's suitor, but WSJ sources at AT&T say the company is not looking to acquire such a big player. If Vodafone were to be sold, chances are the first thing to break off from the company and be sold separately is its 45 percent stake in Verizon Wireless. Of course, a major obstacle to breaking up Vodafone is the company's massive market capitalization, which is about $165 billion.
For more on Vodafone's potential restructuring:
- see this report in The Wall Street Journal