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Business analysis: Vodafone: If AT&T wants to expand in Europe it may still make a bid, says Nils Pratley

January 28, 2014

Nils Pratley

Davos is a damned nuisance, Vodafone's shareholders might feel. A flurry of "AT&T to bid" stories emerging from Switzerland prompted the Takeover Panel over the weekend to ask the US company to clarify its intentions towards Vodafone , which will soon be handing out the winnings from the sale of its 45% stake in Verizon Wireless . AT&T's answer: we do not intend to make an offer. Cue a 6% fall in Vodafone's share price, which became a decline of almost 4% by the end of the trading day. The more modest reaction looks the right one. First, under the panel's rules, AT&T has only ruled itself offside for six months, which is hardly a great impediment given that a deal of this complexity would take some planning. Second, if AT&T is serious about making a big splash in Europe , Vodafone still looks likely to be on any shopping list. In short, AT&T's statement doesn't really change anything.

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Source: Guardian (UK)

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