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Vodafone paid a pile of dosh to leave the US

Packing its bags now

British company Vodafone has given up on the US after its exit was speeded up by a $130 billion cheque expected to be writtentoday. The board of Verizon Communication will meet on Monday morning New York time to vote on buying out Vodafone from its joint venture, meaning a full announcement could come after the London market close, sources said.

Word on the street is that the company will do some serious spending in Europe after it rewards its shareholders. Analysts at Citigroup estimated it could distribute $40 billion in cash and Verizon common stock to shareholders, and still have $30-38 billion in deferred proceeds after paying tax and reducing debt.

Vodafone boss Vittorio Colao can use the cash to build a new future for the world's second-biggest telecom operator. It's too early to know whether Colao will beef up in Europe, or look at new countries such as Brazil.

Vodafone is believed to have acquisition targets in mind. But it will first have to strengthen in countries like Germany, Italy and Spain where Vodafone is already present via a mix of higher network investments and bolt-on acquisitions in fixed or cable.
The European market is now pretty rubbish.

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