Vodafone1 announces an agreement to sell its entire 3.2% interest in China Mobile Limited (“China Mobile”) and the continuation of commercial and technology cooperation between the companies. Vodafone expects the cash consideration to be approximately £4.3bn before tax and transaction costs.
It is intended that approximately 70% of the net proceeds will be returned to shareholders by way of a share buyback with the remainder used to reduce the Group’s net debt.
Vodafone has agreed to sell its entire shareholding of 642,868,587 shares in China Mobile by way of an accelerated bookbuilt offering. Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and UBS are acting as Lead Managers and Bookrunners.
Since Vodafone made its original investment in China Mobile in 2000, both companies have enjoyed a strong relationship and cooperated closely in many areas of business and in the development of the mobile industry. Following today's announcement, both companies will continue this cooperation in areas such as roaming, network roadmap development, multinational customers and green technology.
Commenting on the transaction, Vittorio Colao, Chief Executive of Vodafone said:
“Today’s transaction achieves a near doubling of Vodafone’s original investment in China Mobile and combines our stated portfolio strategy with ongoing cooperation with China’s leading telecommunications company.”
Notes for editors:
Vodafone is one of the world's largest mobile communications companies by revenue with approximately 347 million proportionate customers as at 30 June 2010. Vodafone currently has equity interests in over 30 countries across five continents and over 40 partner networks worldwide. For more information, please visit www.vodafone.com.
About China Mobile
China Mobile and its subsidiaries provide mobile telecommunication and related services in 31 provinces, autonomous regions and directly-administered municipalities in mainland China and Hong Kong. In its audited results for the financial year ended 31 December 2009, the China Mobile group disclosed gross assets of RMB751,368 million and net profit for the year of RMB115,423 million
1 The seller is Vodafone Holdings (Jersey) Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Vodafone Group
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