Vodafone’s (LON:VOD) incoming chief executive Nick Read is considering a sale of tens of thousands of mobile masts in an effort to reduce the telco’s debt pile, the Financial Times has reported. The telecoms giant announced the change at the top earlier this year, noting that Vittorio Colao will step down in October following a decade at the helm of the company.
Vodafone’s share price has climbed higher in today’s session, having added 0.77 percent to 921.80p as of 10:22 BST. The group’s stock is outperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index having fallen into the red and currently standing 0.44 percent lower at 7,271.99 points. The group’s shares have lost more than 18 percent of their value over the past year, as compared with about a one-percent gain in the Footsie.
New boss could sell masts
The FT reported that Vodafone’s incoming chief executive Nick read had unveiled plans to shake up the business at a Goldman Sachs conference in New York, noting that he is considering a sale of the telco’s masts, if the right deal can be struck. The newspaper notes that Vodafone has 110,000 towers across Europe, which, Barclays, has calculated, could be worth €12 billion.
The comments came as Read sought to address concerns over Vodafone’s €31-billion debt pile.
“Towers are also a consideration,” he pointed out, as quoted by the FT, adding that Vodafone would be ‘pursuing’ the strategy although there was ‘nothing today’ to announce.
Analysts on Vodafone
Credit Suisse, which rates Vodafone as an ‘outperform,’ lowered its valuation on the shares from 235p to 225p today. According to MarketBeat, the telecoms giant currently has a consensus ‘buy’ rating and an average price target of 235.52p.