Vodafone talks raise more questions than answers

June 5, 2015

The $100 bln telco is talking to cable group Liberty Global about an asset swap. Vodafone shares fell, suggesting disappointment among investors who’d thought a merger was on the cards. Smaller scale M&A is probably the right way forward, but any structure will be complex.

If Vodafone wants Liberty it has to get creative

December 1, 2014

The mobile giant is eyeing cable group Liberty Global for a $90 bln-plus takeover. The strategic case is easier to make than the financial one. Regulators may be persuadable. Investors and Liberty Chairman John Malone could be colder. Vodafone has to be resourceful.

Deal prospects make Vodafone look cheap

April 4, 2013

Speculation about the mega-mobile operator is rife. There’s talk of a U.S. exit, a takeover by partner Verizon, or a breakup bid. Optimistically, shareholders could get a third more value - or nearly 32 bln pounds. But getting there would entail huge deals, with headaches to match.

Pressure builds on Vodafone to make U.S. exit

April 25, 2013

Verizon has hired advisers to help it buy Vodafone out of the duo’s mobile JV, Reuters says. Vodafone shares rose, although the mooted $100 bln price looks low. Vodafone is staying silent, but with the markets lapping up a string of stories, momentum is building for a deal.

Savings make Vodafone’s Kabel deal palatable

June 24, 2013

The mobile giant has offered 10.7 bln euros, with debt, for Kabel Deutschland - a pricey 12.4 times EBITDA. Critics think Vodafone is ponderous and profligate in M&A. But this looks acceptable provided the huge promised savings with a present value of 3 bln euros can be achieved.

Vodafone needs to deliver on Verizon exit

August 29, 2013

Shares in the UK telco have jumped on confirmation of talks to sell out of its U.S. venture with Verizon for a reported $130 bln. Recent U.S. consolidation may have made Verizon move on price. Vodafone boss Vittorio Colao won’t be forgiven if he now fails to secure a good deal.

Wall Street megadeal quest reaches end of rainbow

September 1, 2013

Thousands of investment banker man-hours and a decade’s worth of lost evenings and holidays devoted to calling on Vodafone and Verizon could finally pay off. The fee pool may exceed $300 mln for the $130 bln wireless acquisition. The return on investment, though, will vary.

Vodafone gets it: cash is king for wary investors

September 3, 2013

The mobile giant’s $130 bln U.S. exit is tailored for a cautious age, and for safety-first European investors who prefer cash to grand plans. So $84 bln goes to shareholders; debt is cut; capex and divis get a boost. It’s not AOL-Time Warner. But this is what mega means in 2013.

Verizon puts AT&T’s acquisition willpower to test

September 3, 2013

Growth in U.S. wireless is slowing, and AT&T learned the hard way that antitrust concerns preclude domestic deals. Vodafone’s newly lined pockets could now tempt AT&T to make a big move overseas. But fatter margins at home and the perils of cross-border M&A argue for discipline.

Morgan Stanley M&A boutique factory keeps cranking

By Rob Cox
September 6, 2013

Paul Taubman is the latest alum to ply his trade independently, helping Verizon on its $130 bln deal. He follows Joe Perella, Bob Greenhill, Frank Quattrone, Michael Tory and more. It’s both a curse and a compliment that so many Morgan Stanley bankers hang out their own shingles.