Vodafone to let shareholders sell up at reduced cost
Telecoms group Vodafone has launched a scheme to allow its shareholders to sell up at a reduced cost.
The shares date back to the initial flotation of Eircom, now named Eir, in 1999.
Vodafone has 334,342 individual shareholders in Ireland, each owning fewer than 1,000 shares.
People with fewer than 50 shares will be able to sell them at no cost.
Those who hold between 51 and 1,000 shares will be able to avail of a reduced trading commission of 35c a share.
Vodafone shares were yesterday trading at £2.13 (€2.80).
The new scheme is aimed at small shareholders with fewer than 1,000 shares and will run from February 23 to May 24.
Shareholders are being offered four options: to sell their entire shareholding using the low-cost facility, to buy more using the facility, to sell and donate proceeds to charity or to do nothing and retain their existing shareholding.
Shareholders acquired the shares when Eircom sold off its mobile phone business, Eircell, to Vodafone in 2001.
At current rates, shares in Vodafone would have to rise by 50pc in order for shareholders to break even on their original investment.
As part of the deal, people will also be able to buy new shares in Vodafone, but it is not expected that many will use the offer to increase their shareholding.