By Dow Jones Business News,
February 10, 2014, 02:55:00 PM EDT
Vodafone Looks to Increase Its Exposure in Spain
Vodafone Group PLC Chief Executive Vittorio Colao said he is interested in having more exposure to Spain as the
company looks to expand beyond wireless service.
In a meeting with reporters in New York on Monday, Mr. Colao declined to comment on reports that Vodafone is exploring
making a bid for Spanish cable company ONO. But he said Vodafone is focused on offering a combination of services like
wireless, broadband Internet and television in the markets where it operates, and said that so-called convergence is
happening more quickly in Spain than in other places.
"It is one of the markets that clearly we are looking at," he said.
Vodafone is weighing options for its large store of cash as it wraps up the $130 billion sale of its stake in U.S.
mobile operator Verizon Wireless to joint venture partner Verizon Communications Inc.
Acquisitions are part of the calculation, and diversifying into the pay TV and broadband businesses is one goal. Last
year, Vodafone agreed to buy Germany's biggest cable operator, Kabel Deutschland Holding AG, for about $10.6 billion.
Vodafone is also interested in expanding its presence in business and emerging markets, Mr. Colao said.
The company will have the capacity to make $30 billion to $40 billion in acquisitions over the next two years, Mr.
"We are looking at acquisitions which are sizable and would transform the company," he said Monday.
The CEO said he would make "disciplined evaluations" of opportunities in emerging markets and understands Vodafone may
be outbid in some situations. He wouldn't rule out additional wireless deals, even in Europe where wireless
consolidation is expected to accelerate, though Vodafone's size may limit its options.
The review of pending wireless mergers in Germany and Ireland will help clarify how willing regulators are to tolerate
consolidation in the industry in Europe, he said.
Write to Thomas Gryta at firstname.lastname@example.org
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