Dec. 5, 2014, 3:25 AM| Dec. 5, 2014, 3:25 AM | 1 Comment
Dec. 3, 2014, 1:59 PM
- During a meeting with analysts and investors, Vodafone (VOD -1%) tried to "calm fears" it could push for a merger with Liberty Global (LBTYA -1.1%), Reuters reports after talking with some of those present.
- Analyst Nick Delfas, one of the attendees: "Vodafone is highly rational about M&A and does not need to do anything. We don't think they would look at Sky or TalkTalk either." He adds some of Liberty's assets might not appeal to Vodafone.
- Bloomberg reported last week Vodafone is exploring a merger with Liberty, as it pushes ahead with its efforts to offer triple and quad-play packages to consumers in the U.K. and other European markets.
Dec. 1, 2014, 1:17 PM
- The Telegraph reports Vodafone (VOD -2.4%) is looking to buy U.K. retailer Tesco's Blinkbox VOD streaming service. A source states a deal is close, and that Vodafone isn't expected to pay much for the business.
- Blinkbox, which charges a per-rental fee, has faced competition from both rival VOD services and Netflix/Amazon's subscription streaming offerings. It lost £18.5M during its most recent fiscal year.
- Blinkbox would strengthen Vodafone's nascent U.K. pay-TV and wireline broadband efforts. The Telegraph's report follows one from Bloomberg stating Vodafone is exploring a merger with cable giant Liberty Global. Liberty respectively claims 3.7M and 4.5M U.K. TV and broadband subs through its Virgin Media unit.
Nov. 28, 2014, 1:49 PM
- Sources tell Bloomberg Vodafone (NASDAQ:VOD) is "holding internal deliberations and analyzing the financial and regulatory hurdles as well as investor support for a share-based transaction" with Liberty Global (NASDAQ:LBTYA).
- However, they add no formal talks with Liberty are currently underway, and that "valuation and regulatory issues remain key obstacles."
- Liberty has a ~$38B market cap, and $40.1B in net debt. Vodafone is worth $95.1B, and has $34B in net debt. Vodafone closed up 2.5% (with the help of a UBS upgrade), and Liberty closed up 7.4%.
- Prior coverage
Nov. 28, 2014, 1:07 PM
- Bloomberg reports Vodafone (VOD +2.6%) is exploring a "combination" with European cable giant Liberty Global (LBTYA +7.4%). Liberty has soared on the news.
- Liberty operates in 14 countries (12 in Europe), passes 52M homes, and claims 27M customers and trailing annual revenue of $20B. Vodafone has already acquired Spanish and German cable giants ONO and Kabel Deutschland, and has declared it wants to offer mobile/wireline bundles throughout Europe.
- Earlier: UBS upgrades Vodafone
Nov. 28, 2014, 10:02 AM
- UBS has named Vodafone (NASDAQ:VOD) a Key Call Buy, and predicts the carrier will benefit from mobile data growth and improving German, Spanish, and Italian sales.
- Also: Consolidation in the U.K. mobile market now appears likely, with both BT and 3 U.K. owner Hutchison Whampoa expressing interest in buying either Telefonica's O2 or Orange/Deutsche Telekom's EE. Vodafone recently committed to offering bundles featuring mobile, wireline voice, broadband, and TV services to U.K. customers, as BT and EE make their own moves to offer the same.
Nov. 11, 2014, 6:06 PM
- Looking to keep U.K. mobile customers from signing up for BT and EE's triple-play packages, Vodafone (NASDAQ:VOD) will launch wireline broadband and pay-TV services in its home market, CEO Vittorio Colao disclosed on today's FQ2 CC.
- Vodafone already offers triple-play packages in many European markets - it's in the midst of digesting cable providers ONO and Kabel Deutschland - and has set a goal of offering them across the continent through a mixture of internal investments, acquisitions, and partnerships. The U.K. effort will be enabled by the Cable & Wireless acquisition, as well as BT's infrastructure.
- Shares finished up 5.4% today in response to Vodafone's FQ2 revenue beat and FY15 EBITDA guidance hike. Over the first half of FY15, Vodafone's U.K. and total European service revenue has respectively fallen 3.1% and 6.5% Y/Y on an organic basis. European mobile service revenue fell 7.3%, and wireline service revenue 2.5%.
Nov. 11, 2014, 9:17 AM
Nov. 11, 2014, 4:33 AM| Nov. 11, 2014, 4:33 AM | Comment!
Oct. 27, 2014, 12:30 PM
- Vodafone (VOD -1.2%) has "instigated a forensic audit to investigate the facts relating to the alleged fraud" at Spanish cable giant Ono, which it acquired just a few months ago for $9.1B.
- Ono resellers reportedly failed to declare VAT collections related to international calling minute sales. Deloitte is heading the probe.
Oct. 16, 2014, 4:02 PM
- The South African government is weighing a sale of its 13.9% stake in Vodafone's (VOD -0.5%) African Vodacom unit, Bloomberg reports. Vodafone, hungry for acquisitions since receiving its Verizon Wireless windfall, currently has a 65% stake and is viewed as a potential buyer.
- Bloomberg adds the government's stake is valued at $2.3B. Vodacom had 68.4M subs (92.7% prepaid) spread out over various African markets at the end of June. Its organic service revenue was flat Y/Y in calendar Q2 thanks to South African termination fee cuts.
- Last year, Vodacom bought South African wireline carrier Neotel for R7B ($635M).
Oct. 16, 2014, 10:09 AM
- New worries about the health of Greece's troubled banks have contributed to a selloff in European markets, one that has taken a toll on the continent's debt-laden telcos. The ECB is reportedly mulling a funding package for Greek banks.
- Decliners: VOD -3.1%. TEF -4.2%. ORAN -4.5%. TI -6.5%. PT -3.9%.
Oct. 10, 2014, 12:40 PM
- The Bombay High Court has ruled in Vodafone's (VOD -0.8%) favor in a long-running tax dispute with the Indian government. Authorities had been seeking INR30B ($490M) on account of the alleged under-pricing of shares by Vodafone's Indian unit in a rights offering to the parent company.
- Vodafone is still battling a $2B+ tax demand related to its '07 acquisition of Hutchison Whampoa's Indian mobile ops. The carrier had 166.6M Indian subs at the end of its June quarter, and spent $3B on Indian spectrum earlier this year.
- Earlier this week, Vodafone said it would invest another $1B to upgrade its Indian network and retail stores, as it relies on India and other emerging markets to offset declining European service revenue. India's low ARPU (currently around $3/month) remains a challenge.
Oct. 9, 2014, 9:48 AM
- Nomura's James Britton has downgraded Vodafone (VOD -2.8%) to Neutral, and lowered his target by 10p to 180p.
- Britton observes Vodafone trades at a slight forward EBITDA premium to peers (7x vs. 6.5x), and thinks competitive pressures could grow over the next 12 months.
- He forecasts new market entrants in the U.K., India, and the Netherlands, tougher competition from existing carriers in Germany, South Africa, and Turkey, and further cannibalization of voice revenue by data services among European business clients.
- U.S. shares are close to their 52-week low of $31.87.
Oct. 8, 2014, 3:48 AM
- Telecom operator Swisscom (OTCPK:SCMWY) is considering a sale of its Italian broadband firm Fastweb, which has been previously targeted by Vodafone (NASDAQ:VOD).
- Swisscom acquired Fastweb for €4.2B in 2007, and has so far been unwilling to sell the company. The broadband company could be worth up to €5B ($6.3B) based on 2013 EBITDA of 620M Swiss francs.
- A source tells Reuters that while Vodafone is not currently in talks with Swisscom, it remains interested in a Fastweb acquisition.
Sep. 23, 2014, 1:01 PM
- Tech news site BSN, not historically a major source for telecom M&A rumors: "Sources close to both Vodafone (VOD +0.3%) and AT&T (T -0.7%) have said that executives from the two companies are laying the groundwork for a possible acquisition, merger or partnership ... AT&T is seen to take ownership of Vodafone and its various business units around the globe by first quarter of 2015."
- Vodafone has turned positive on the report; shares were previously down over 1%. AT&T/Vodafone rumors are, of course, nothing new. However, the DirecTV deal and AT&T's reported displeasure with Vodafone's wireline expansion efforts have led to a measure of investor skepticism about them.
- SoftBank has also been rumored to be a potential Vodafone suitor, given the company has abandoned (for now) its efforts to merge Sprint with T-Mobile, and is sitting on an Alibaba stake currently worth a pre-tax $70B.
Vodafone Group PLC is engaged in providing voice and data communications services for all types of customers. The Company has presence in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, the Asia Pacific region and the United States.
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