Vodafone has announced an agreement to sell its entire 3.2% interest in China Mobile Limited and the continuation of commercial and technology cooperation between the companies. Vodafone expects the cash consideration to be approximately £4.3 billion before tax and transaction costs.
It is intended that approximately 70% of the net proceeds will be returned to shareholders by way of a share buyback with the remainder used to reduce the Group’s net debt.
Vodafone has agreed to sell its entire shareholding of 642,868,587 shares in China Mobile by way of an accelerated bookbuilt offering. Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and UBS are acting as Lead Managers and Bookrunners.
Since Vodafone made its original investment in China Mobile in 2000, both companies have enjoyed a strong relationship and cooperated closely in many areas of business and in the development of the mobile industry. Following today’s announcement, both companies will continue this cooperation in areas such as roaming, network roadmap development, multinational customers and green technology.
Commenting on the transaction, Vittorio Colao, Chief Executive of Vodafone said: “Today’s transaction achieves a near doubling of Vodafone’s original investment in China Mobile and combines our stated portfolio strategy with ongoing cooperation with China’s leading telecommunications company.”