Vodafone offloads China Mobile stake
Mobile phone giant Vodafone has unveiled moves to offload its stake in China Mobile for nearly double the price it paid 10 years ago.
The Newbury-based group is selling the 3.2pc shareholding for £4.3bn (€5.2bn) to banks who will in turn sell the stake to institutional investors.
Vodafone said 70pc of the net proceeds will be returned to shareholders by way of a share buyback with the remainder used to reduce its net debt.
The moves come amid pressure from shareholders to dispose of the company's minority stakes, which also include 45pc of America's Verizon Wireless.
Chief executive Vittorio Colao said the transaction represented a near doubling of Vodafone's original investment in China Mobile in 2000.
He added that the two companies will continue to cooperate on roaming, multinational customers, green technology and other areas.