Vodafone sells Softbank stake for $5b

Dylan Bushell-Embling
10 Nov 2010

Vodafone has sold its holdings in Japanese telco and internet firm Softbank for £3.1 billion ($4.95b).


The operator said it would sell the assets back to Softbank in two tranches, with the first payment to be received by December. The second is expected in April 2012.


Vodafone acquired 300 billion yen ($3.7b) worth of shares in a Softbank unit when it sold Vodafone Japan to the mobile operator for £8.9 billion in 2006.


The consideration also included a 100 billion yen loan payable to Vodafone by 2013, which is also being divested, and a large cash component.


Vodafone had at the time estimated the value of the non-cash assets at £1.1 billion, and had bumped this up to £2.6 billion as of September 30.


Vodafone said it would use the proceeds to reduce net debt, which was a hefty £30.5 billion at the end of the first half.


Vodafone, which is being pressed by investors to shed its non-core assets, sold its 3.2% stake in China Mobile for £4.3 billion in September.


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