Vodafone (VOD -1.3%) is fine with a credit downgrade to BBB+ if that's the price it has to pay to go through with a compelling merger/acquisition, says CFO Andy Halford. That comment is being taken as a sign Vodafone doesn't feel any pressure to sell its 45% stake in Verizon Wireless (estimated value of $110B), which would do plenty to strengthen its balance sheet. Bernstein notes the amount of extra debt needed to produce a BBB+ rating would be enough to finance the purchase of German wireline carrier Kabel Deutschland, which Vodafone is reportedly eying.
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