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Vodafone in Advanced Talks to Finalize Vantage Stake Sale by Nov. 15: Sources

Published: October 14, 2022
The logo of Vodafone is seen on the facade of a store in Ronda, Spain on October 3, 2022. (Image: REUTERS/Jon Nazca/File Photo)

LONDON (Reuters) — Vodafone is speeding up talks with a handful of financial investors to sell a slice of its wireless towers unit as it hopes to agree a deal by Nov. 15 in conjunction with its half-year earnings, two sources close to the matter told Reuters.

The British telecoms group is evaluating proposals to either halve its nearly 82 percent holding in Frankfurt-listed Vantage Towers or just sell 25 percent of it in a bid to free up cash and respond to activists’ pressures to shake up the company and improve profitability, the sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Shares in Vantage Towers – which has a market value of 13 billion euros ($12.7 billion) have dropped 18.3 percent since the start of the year, making it an attractive target for bidders — including a consortium of investment firms KKR and Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) — to invest in a recession-proof business at a discount, the sources said.

Vodafone, KKR and GIP were not immediately available for comment, while Vantage declined to comment.

Vodafone’s advisers have asked bidders to complete due diligence in the coming weeks and submit binding bids in November, the sources said, cautioning that no deal is certain and that the timeframe may still slip.

By Reuters. (Reporting by Pamela Barbaglia and Andres Gonzalez, additional reporting by Emma-Victoria Farr and Christoph Steitz, Editing by Louise Heavens)