11/1/2013 10:58:37 AM
AT&T 'planning 2014 move for Vodafone'
American operator AT&T is reportedly putting plans together to bid for Vodafone Group in 2014, with EE lined up as an alternative buy.
A report in Bloomberg suggested AT&T was attracted by the vast economies of scale that a global business with more than half a billion customers and a market capitalisation of more than $250bn would have. The report said the business post-takeover would be in a better position to negotiate handset subsidies and make money from embryonic technology such as mobile advertising. AT&T would be likely to focus on Vodafone's European business and spin off its emerging market companies.
Neither of the companies would comment on the report althought it claimed Vodafone Group CEO Vittorio Colao was privately open to a deal. Another alternative would be a move for EE, the UK's largest operator. The company is widely expected to be floated at some point next year, although the report noted AT&T may be dissuaded by the lack of an entry point into the German market if it moved for EE.
Author: Graeme Neill