Vodafone (LON:VOD) has inked a deal to offload its majority stake in its Qatar business, the blue-chip group has said. In a separate development, chief executive has hit back at Deutsche Telekom, saying that the group’s public stance against its plan to buy some assets from Liberty Global was surprising and that its assertion that Vodafone wanted to shut down competition was untrue, Reuters reports.
Vodafone’s share price has advanced in London in today’s session, having gained 1.18 percent to 206.25p as of 14:26 GMT, outperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing 0.81 percent higher at 7,302.89 points. The group’s shares have added more than one percent to their value over the past year, as compared with a near one-percent rise in the Footsie.
Telco sells stake in Qatar venture
Vodafone announced in a statement that Qatar Foundation will acquire the group’s 51-percent stake in the joint venture company, which controls Vodafone Qatar. The London-listed group will receive QAR 1,350 million (€301 million), with QAR 1,250 million (€279 million) payable at completion and QAR 100 million (€22 million) payable 12 months after completion, which is expected in the next three months.
Vodafone hits back at Deutsche Telecom
Reuters quoted Vodafone’s chief executive Vittorio Colao as saying today that he was surprised by a comment from Deutsche Telekom’s CEO Tim Hoettges who said last week that he thought a deal between the London-listed group and Liberty Global would be ‘totally unacceptable’. Vodafone revealed this month that it was in early-stage talks about buying Liberty Global’s cable assets in some continental markets where they both operate, the chief one being Germany.
“I would never use the words ‘shutting down competitors’,” Colao told reporters at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, as quoted by Reuters. “Using the expression ‘shutting down competition’ is something that if I were him I would not do, because I believe in it, I believe that competition is good.”