Hello to the City’s new watchdog, the Financial Conduct Authority. It may seem rude to make requests on your first working day but there’s a market rumour on which we would like some clarity. It involves what would be the biggest M&A deal ever, and it’s on your patch. Read more
One intriguing detail (albeit a multi-billion dollar detail) accompanying Vodafone’s abortive work on a possible bid for its American partner, Verizon Communications, is that Vodafone has been pressing Verizon Wireless to expand in the US by acquisition while simultaneously mulling its own transatlantic takeover plan.
Vodafone on Monday responded to a report here on its $160bn ambition to own the whole of Verizon with a flat statement that it is not pursuing such a bid, despite detailed scenario planning. But financiers with a close knowledge of the lead up to Monday’s statement say it follows growing frustration over the fact that Verizon Wireless will not follow Vodafone’s guiding strategic hand. Read more
A key driver in Vodafone’s quest to find a solution to the long-running tensions over Verizon Wireless, the 45/55 joint venture with Verizon Communications, has been Vodafone’s desire to get cash out of the American mobile business.
Verizon, as the majority partner, has insisted to date that Wireless should repay all inter-company debt before it distributes profits. But for Vodafone the need to show that the venture has tangible financial value has become acute, with rebel shareholders pressing for a sale or refinancing of the American mobile holding. Read more
A short statement on Monday lunchtime from Vodafone stated, quite clearly, that the British mobile phone group has no plans to bid for Verizon, its US counterpart. It followed news earlier on FT Alphaville saying Vodafone has been considering a $160bn offer.
So here, and in subsequent posts, we will happily explain what was missing from that Vodafone announcement. Read more
Live markets commentary from FT.com