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first_img whatsapp whatsapp KCS-content Tags: NULL Show Comments ▼ VODAFONE last night agreed to sell its stake in SFR, France’s second-largest mobile operator, to Vivendi for €7.95bn (£7bn) in cash and said it would return £4bn to its shareholders. The British mobile giant’s 44 per cent stake was valued at €7.75bn and it will receive a final dividend of €200m once the transaction is completed within the next three months. Vodafone said £4bn of the proceeds would be returned to investors via a share buyback, with the remainder being used to pay down its debt pile. Sources close to the firm said Vodafone boss Vittorio Colao had extracted a “good price” during negotiations that ran into yesterday evening. Last month, Vivendi indicated that it would be unwilling to pay anything north of £6bn for the 44 per cent of SFR it does not already own. The deal implies an enterprise value for SFR of around 6.7 times earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) – higher than the 5.5 times that is the norm for European telecoms companies. Colao said the decision to sell SFR was in keeping with his strategy of “realising maximum value from [Vodafone’s] non-controlled assets”.He added: “The sale of our stake in SFR, at an attractive multiple, represents a significant further step in the execution of this strategy.”Vodafone’s holding in SFR contributed £573m to its adjusted operating profit in the year to 31 March 2010, and £284m in the six months to 30 September 2010.The pair also hammered out the terms of a new two-year commercial partnership that will enable Vodafone customers to use SFR signal when in France. Vodafone, which has already sold its minority interests in China and Japan, is now likely to turn its attention to divesting its Polish assets. Analysts estimate its 24.4 per cent stake in Poland’s Polkomtel could be worth about €1bn. Meanwhile, Vivendi said it would be able to hike its dividend thanks to the extra profits it will book following completion of the deal. Last week, Vodafone bought Essar out of its Indian venture for $5bn, in a move that paves the way for an eventual flotation of the firm, according to sources close to Vodafone. Share VODAFONE SELLS £7BN SFR STAKE Monday 4 April 2011 12:14 am More From Our Partners Biden received funds from top Russia lobbyist before Nord Stream 2 giveawaynypost.comA ProPublica investigation has caused outrage in the U.S. this weekvaluewalk.comPolice Capture Elusive Tiger Poacher After 20 Years of Pursuing the Huntergoodnewsnetwork.orgSupermodel Anne Vyalitsyna claims income drop, pushes for child supportnypost.comNative American Tribe Gets Back Sacred Island Taken 160 Years Agogoodnewsnetwork.orgRussell Wilson, AOC among many voicing support for Naomi Osakacbsnews.comAstounding Fossil Discovery in California After Man Looks Closelygoodnewsnetwork.orgInside Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis’ not-so-average farmhouse estatenypost.comBrave 7-Year-old Boy Swims an Hour to Rescue His Dad and Little Sistergoodnewsnetwork.orgWhy people are finding dryer sheets in their mailboxesnypost.comI blew off Adam Sandler 22 years ago — and it’s my biggest regretnypost.com‘Neighbor from hell’ faces new charges after scaring off home buyersnypost.com980-foot skyscraper sways in China, prompting panic and evacuationsnypost.comKiller drone ‘hunted down a human target’ without being told tonypost.comMark Eaton, former NBA All-Star, dead at 64nypost.comFlorida woman allegedly crashes children’s birthday party, rapes teennypost.comUK teen died on school trip after teachers allegedly refused her pleasnypost.comMatt Gaetz swindled by ‘malicious actors’ in $155K boat sale boondogglenypost.comlast_img read more

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