News Column

Vodafone details £49bn payout to shareholders

February 19, 2014

Nick Fletcher, theguardian.com



Vodafone shareholders are set to receive around 102p a share following the mobile phone group's sale of its stake in US group Verizon Wireless for $130bn.

The company has detailed the payouts, which are due to begin next week and total 49.4bn. Each investor will receive 30p in cash for every share they own, plus 0.026 Verizon Communications shares, worth around 72p at the current price and exchange rate.

Provided court approval for the scheme is granted on Friday, the Verizon shares will be credited on 24 February and the cash payment will be made on 4 March.

At the same time, Vodafone's shares will be consolidated to reduce the number in issue and ensure a broadly similar share price before and after the distribution of the Verizon Wireless proceeds. Shareholders will receive 6 new shares for every existing 11 Vodafone shares.

Analysts at Killik & Co said:

Vodafone has been a strong performer over the last year, although the recent statement from AT&T [that it would not bid for Vodafone] has caused some short-term weakness. At the current share price, the remaining Vodafone rump is trading at a discount to the peer group, with the prospect of upgrades if the trading environment improves. In the meantime, the shares offer an attractive 4.9% dividend yield. Furthermore, we note the commitment made by the Vodafone CEO to reinvest his share of the Verizon distribution into Vodafone shares.

Meanwhile analysts have been suggesting where investors are likely to reinvest their payouts. Major companies such as HSBC, GlaxoSmithKline and AstraZeneca are likely to be among the beneficiaries, they believe.

Speaking of Vodafone, currently 1.35p lower at 222.65p, satellite operator Avanti Communications has announced it has signed a three year agreement to supply 3G backhaul services - the links between the central network and outlying hubs - to one of the mobile phone group's European companies.

Avanti shares have climbed 6% to 217.75p on the news.


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Source: Guardian Web


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