Vodafone shares rise amid Cevian stake rumours

Vodafone shares rise amid Cevian stake rumours

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Vodafone shares rose 4% on Monday after several reports emerged that activist investor Cevian Capital had bought a stake in the company.

The Covid-19 pandemic had a major impact on the operator’s shares, and it was held back by competition in European markets such as Spain, Italy and Portugal.

Nick Read, chief executive of Vodafone has called for further consolidation in European markets and said it would be willing to explore merger opportunities for its subsidiary Vantage Towers.

Early last month, it was revealed that Vodafone is reported to have explored a possible merger with Three UK and is rumoured to be in talks with Iliad to combine its Italian businesses.

Talks are said to be ongoing with both Vodafone and Iliad exploring ways to secure a deal.

Vodafone is set to release its quarterly results tomorrow.

Consolidation has been a major theme in the European telecoms landscape over the last year, with a growing belief in the industry that firms are more open to in-country deals to reduce the number of operators in each market.

This much was evident last year when Virgin Media and O2 completed a £31 billion merger.

As for Cevian, last year the firm reduced its stake in Ericsson by 1% less than two months after criticising the firm’s approach to growth targets.

The investment group said the “freed up capital” would be redirected to a new investment but confirmed that Ericsson will remain as one of its largest investments.

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