Vodafone shares fall to an 11-week low

SHARES in Vodafone Group Plc, the world’s largest cellular operator, fell to an 11-week low on Friday last.

However, the thousands of Irish investors with shares in the company after it bought Eircell from Eircom have seen their investment in the group rise sharply since last March 2003.

Back then the shares were just £1 compared with yesterday’s close.

Vodafone is discussing a possible sale of its stake in Verizon Wireless to Verizon Communications for an undisclosed amount.

During Friday the shares fell as much as 2.5p or 1.9% to 131.75p, the lowest since November 21, but this is still well ahead of the £1 point they were at last March, said Kevin McConnell, senior analyst, Bloxham Stockbrokers.

The sale of the 45% percent stake in Verizon Wireless would free British-based Vodafone to buy AT&T Wireless Services Inc, which last month put itself on the block and set a February 13 deadline for bids.

Investors have warned Vodafone off AT&T Wireless, arguing a takeover would erode the value of Vodafone stock and drain cash.

Vodafone would need to sell all or part of its Verizon Wireless holding, which analysts say may be worth more than $20bn, to buy AT&T Wireless.

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