Vodafone shareholders expects Verizon Wireless dividend

22 April 2013 | Mitch Sayers


Vodafone shareholders have said they expect a substantial pay off should the company divest its stake in Verizon Wireless, according to reports.

The UK-based operator has considered its options with its non-controlling stake in its joint venture with Verizon Communications.

Fears over paying a large amount in tax from the $135 billion deal has, however, reportedly halted progress.

Vodafone's stake in the joint wireless venture is much sought after by parent company Verizon Communications, and the company said it is "extremely confident" a sale would not incur large capital gains tax.

The Sunday Times in the UK reports shareholders have now added they would envisage a sizeable dividend from any fee.

"I would be expecting to get the bulk of proceeds back," said a prominent shareholder. "Some would be left for reducing debt and making acquisitions."

Reports indicate money from Verizon Wireless divestment could be used by Vodafone to acquire Kabel Deutschland - with cable assets said to be a priority if the Verizon deal goes ahead.

Vodafone has reportedly become more open to a deal with Verizon Communications after the company is said to have admitted a tax bill may not be as large as once feared.

One shareholder added the British company softened “its tone" in terms of “willingness to sell".

Vodafone has divested non-controlling stakes in SFR and China Mobile since October 2010.