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Vodafone completes sales negotiations with mystery buyer

UK firm sells minority stake in China Mobile

08 September 2010

Vodafone has completed sales negotiations with an identified buyer for its minority stake in China Mobile.

The UK firm sold its 3.2 per cent share in the telecoms company for approximately $6.5 billion (£4.2 billion) – almost double the amount Vodafone paid ten years ago.

Vodafone will provide shareholders with 70 per cent of the net proceeds of the sale by buying back shares. The remaining funds will be used to reduce the company's debt.

It comes amid pressure from Vodafone shareholders to offload its minority stakes in other companies, including its 45 per cent share of US mobile operator Verizon Wireless.

Vittorio Colao, Vodafone's chief executive, said: "Today's transaction achieves a near doubling of Vodafone's original investment in China Mobile and combines our stated portfolio strategy with ongoing co-operation with China's leading telecommunications company."

The two firms will continue to work together in selected divisions such as roaming, multinational customers and green technology. 

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