Vodafone mops up Portuguese minorities

Share offer

The Vodafone minorities "squeeze out" juggernaut has landed in Portugal. The mobile network operator today publishes the terms of its offer to buy out the 38.6 per cent in Portuguese sub Telecel, or Vodafone Telecel-Comunicacoes Pessoais, S.A. to give it is proper name, that it does not already own.

Vodafone is offering &euro 8.5 per share, compared with Telecel's closing price yesterday of € 8.2. It says the offer is final and that it won't budge on price. If and when the company gets to 90 per cent of the share capital, it says it will exercise its right to purchase the outstanding shares compulsorily. And if it doesn't mop up at least 90 per cent of shares this time around, it may seek "other" means, available under Portuguese law, to have Telecel's shares delisted.

In January this year, Vodafone proclaimed its intention to set aside up to $2bn cash to buy out minority shareholders in Sweden, the Netherlands and Portugal. The company has already scooped up more than 90 per cent in Vodafone Europolitan in Sweden. Europolitan's shares and consequently membership of sundry stock indices will be deleted on March 3. ®

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