Vodafone may sell minority assets after investor pressure

 
City A.M. Reporter
VODAFONE, the world’s largest mobile operator by revenue, is to simplify its structure following a drive to overhaul its portfolio after investor complaints.

The company had said in July it would reconsider its strategy and look to “maximise shareholder value”, with analysts expecting it to seek to sell certain minority-owned assets. Vodafone, which this week sold its 3.2 per cent stake in China Mobile for $6.5bn (£4.2bn), said yesterday it would cut its operating regions to two from three and hold outside the regional structure its main minority stakes in other operators.

Its stakes in US operator Verizon Wireless, France’s SFR, Polkomtel in Poland and India’s Bharti would now be held separately, it said, but added that this did not mean it had decided what to do with these assets.

Vodafone said from 1 October it would remove management layers and have two operating regions compared with the three it has previously used. Europe will comprise one unit and Africa, Middle East and Asia Pacific the other.

Chief executive Vittorio Colao and his finance director will work together to maximise value from minority investments including Verizon Wireless, SFR, Polkomtel and Bharti Holding, the company said.