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Vodafone Not Ready to Ditch Verizon Wireless, Yet

Vodafone Group Plc continues to review its 45 percent stake in Verizon Wireless, the companys CEO said at the Morgan Stanley conference in Barcelona this week.

Vodafone hasnt gotten a Verizon Wireless dividend since 2005 and its antsy to see some return on investment.

I think it is fairly logical to assume that by the end of next year something should happen,” said Vodafone CEO Vittorio Colao, according to multiple reports. Theres a clear intent to work well together. We keep our mind open. If its impossible to get cash out of it, we should go for other solutions which are not very advantageous to our shareholders and the company.”

In other words, waiting for some kind of payback from Verizon Wireless is better than dumping the stake altogether and pursuing a greater unknown. But that doesnt mean Vodafone wont pressure Verizon Wireless for results over the next 12 months.

Twice this year, rumors have surfaced that Vodafone would sell its ownership in Verizon Wireless over frustration about the dividend matter. Vodafone recently sold its Softbank holdings and got rid of its China Mobile Ltd. stake. Meanwhile, the carrier says it may dispose of its share of French mobile-phone operator SFR, as well as its piece of Polands Polkomtel SA.

Shares of Vodafone were trading 1.82 percent higher about an hour prior to Wall Streets close; Verizon shares were up 1.11 percent.


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