Vodafone shareholders have voted overwhelmingly in favour of a bumper 84 billion US dollar (€61bn) payout from the sale of the company’s stake in US mobile phone operator Verizon Wireless.
Investors will cash in to the tune of around 104p per share following the 130 billion US dollar (€94bn) deal – which is the third biggest in corporate history.
The payout was described by finance director Andy Halford as “the largest return of value ever in history anywhere”.
At the time the sale was agreed it was forecast that the scale of the shareholder windfall was so big that it would provide a significant boost to the UK economy.
Vodafone is selling its 45% stake in the US business to Verizon, its partner in the joint venture. The deal is expected to complete in late February.
Shareholders in the FTSE 100 company will receive payouts in a split of around 30p cash to 70p Verizon shares.
Vodafone’s stock market value is expected to be reduced from around £110 billion to around £60 billion.
At the shareholder meeting to approve the transaction, it was backed by 99.61% of votes.
During the event, chairman Gerard Kleisterlee would not comment when asked about speculation that it would become a takeover target now that it is a smaller company.
Vodafone’s shares slid 4% on Monday after speculation linking it to a £60 billion takeover swoop from AT&T was shot down by the US firm.