Vodafone CEO open to building conglomerate, has big M&A budget

"If other opportunities arise to create a bigger—I would say the Unilever of telecom—a big company that has fixed mobile and possibly entertainment and enterprise services, then of course we'll go after them," says Vodafone (VOD) CEO Vittorio Colao during a CNBC talk. He adds Vodafone "might be looking at a number of places in emerging markets and in mature markets and consolidation opportunities."

During a separate talk, Colao says Vodafone, flush with Verizon Wireless cash, might have $30B-$40B to spend on M&A in the coming years, assuming it maintains its 2:1 debt/EBITDA target ratio.

The remarks come as a fresh report emerges of Vodafone's interest in Spanish cable provider ONO (previous). Colao suggests Vodafone, which bought German cable provider Kabel Deutschland last year, is keen on building its wireline footprint in Europe, and on expanding its mobile reach in emerging markets.

Discussing India, Vodafone's biggest emerging market, Colao points out the country's relatively poor wireline infrastructure spells a larger opportunity for mobile data services.

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Comments (7)
  • nemonemo
    , contributor
    Comments (338) | Send Message
    $NIHD on the line.
    10 Feb 2014, 07:10 PM Reply Like
  • Surfer Steve
    , contributor
    Comments (18) | Send Message
    Reading this makes me feel even better about selling VOD several months ago once the Verizon deal was announced. Large European telecom with $40B war chest = massive waste of shareholder capital.
    10 Feb 2014, 09:27 PM Reply Like
  • Raymond Wiacek
    , contributor
    Comments (50) | Send Message
    Diworsification at its finest right here ladies and gentlemen
    10 Feb 2014, 09:50 PM Reply Like
  • freed0m
    , contributor
    Comments (1179) | Send Message
    Companies with cash might have diworsifications, but companies without cash might not have anything. Just like the riches might become poor, but there are more poor never near rich.
    10 Feb 2014, 10:59 PM Reply Like
  • AutoRegressive
    , contributor
    Comments (250) | Send Message
    Time to sell....
    10 Feb 2014, 11:45 PM Reply Like
  • Niners 4 Life!
    , contributor
    Comments (502) | Send Message
    When is VOD paying their shareholders for the sale of their stake of VZ?
    11 Feb 2014, 03:47 AM Reply Like
  • whatoncewas
    , contributor
    Comments (36) | Send Message
    My broker claims the date is March 4th, but my broker is fairly terrible at the best of times.
    11 Feb 2014, 07:13 AM Reply Like
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