Vodafone rallies on talks for Japanese business

The prospect of a bidding war for Vodafone’s Japanese unit kept the mobile phone group’s shares on the recovery trail today.

The prospect of a bidding war for Vodafone’s Japanese unit kept the mobile phone group’s shares on the recovery trail today.

Internet company Softbank is in talks to buy Vodafone’s controlling stake, but its hopes of pulling off a deal looked to be under threat after it was widely reported that two private equity companies – Cerberus Capital Management and Providence Equity Partners – were planning a rival bid.

A sum of more than £8.5bn (€12.3bn) has been mentioned, with shareholders on standby to receive a large slice of the proceeds as chief executive Arun Sarin looks to ease City worries about the company’s recent performance.

Shares rose another 2% to 129.25p today, as the stock recovered from a three-year low of 109p earlier this month.

At the same time, Vodafone said it had achieved its target of more than 10 million customers using Vodafone live! With 3G by the end of March.

The product allows users to access a rang of video, internet and entertainment options.

Chief executive Arun Sarin described it as an “important milestone” for Vodafone.

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