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Vodafone rejects call from rebel investors

Sticking to its knitting

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Vodafone this morning rejected calls for changes to its debt structure and holdings in Verizon Wireless from rebel investors.

A rebel shareholder group led by John Mayo (formerly of Marconi), calling itself Efficient Capital Structures (ECS) and representing 210,000 ordinary shares, called on Vodafone to change its debt arrangements in order to return money to shareholders.

It also wants any deal over £1bn to require shareholder approval unless the company alters its debt structure and issues bonds to shareholders.

The statement said: "The Board of Vodafone has reviewed the proposals from ECS and has unanimously concluded that continued execution of its clearly stated strategy will deliver greater value for shareholders.

The resolutions will be put to the vote at Vodafone's Annual General Meeting on 24 July.

ECS will need to gain support from institutional investors who own the vast majority of Vodafone shares. But although there is some desire for change among investors, it seems few will support these specific proposals. ®

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