Home Industry Listed Tech Vodafone forced to deny sale speculation
Vodafone forced to deny sale speculation Featured

Vodafone Australia – and the international Vodafone Group - needs to be very careful what it says. The smallest comment will set off the rumour mill.

Vodafone Group CEO Vittorio Colao has been asked an innocuous question at a Morgan Stanley financial analyst’s conference in Barcelona. He was asked if the company consider selling ‘non-core’ assets in Australia, the Czech Republic, and Hungary – all countries where Vodafone is involved in a joint ventures.

Colao gave a reasonable reply: “We constantly check with possible parties interested in some of our less core assets. We would consider sales but we are not distressed sellers so therefore we must sell at full value. Otherwise we keep them and manage the cash,” Reuters reports him as saying.

That was enough to set things going. Elements of the Australian press – and in particular Fairfax Media – immediately exaggerated this and took it a step further, saying that Vodafone is considering a sale of Vodafone Hutchison Australia (VHA – its 50:50 joint venture with Hong Kong’s Hutchison) and is speaking to potential buyers.

That is drawing a rather long bow, based on Colao’s remarks. It doesn’t take much. It is hardly news that Vodafone would sell at the right price. Virtually anybody will sell virtually anything if offered enough money.

Vodafone Australia was forced to respond to the reports, saying that Colao referring to the “general principle” that Vodafone was open to potential changes, but that this was a “generic statement and was in no way intended to imply we have specific plans for any Vodafone local market.”

Speculation has been rife for years that VHA would be for sale at the right price, or that one of Vodafone or Hutchison would sell out to the other, or to another party. iTWire has often commented on this. But, despite Colao’s comments, nothing has changed.

Both Vodafone and Hutchinson have constantly stressed they are in it for the long run, that they are working well together, and that they are not considering selling out. The two companies have invested over $2 billion in recent years to improve Vodafone’s Australian network, which still suffers from what the company calls “reputational issues” after the ‘Vodafail’ network meltdown of 2011 and 2012.

Trouble is, it doesn’t much matter what Vodafone says. As the kerfuffle over Colao’s comments shows, just a few words will ignite the flames, and all the denials in the world will not douse them.

FREE SEMINAR

Site24x7 Seminars

Deliver Better User Experience in Today's Era of Digital Transformation

Some IT problems are better solved from the cloud

Join us as we discuss how DevOps in combination with AIOps can assure a seamless user experience, and assist you in monitoring all your individual IT components—including your websites, services, network infrastructure, and private or public clouds—from a single, cloud-based dashboard.

Sydney 7th May 2019

Melbourne 09 May 2019

Don’t miss out! Register Today!

REGISTER HERE!

LEARN HOW TO REDUCE YOUR RISK OF A CYBER ATTACK

Australia is a cyber espionage hot spot.

As we automate, script and move to the cloud, more and more businesses are reliant on infrastructure that has the high potential to be exposed to risk.

It only takes one awry email to expose an accounts’ payable process, and for cyber attackers to cost a business thousands of dollars.

In the free white paper ‘6 Steps to Improve your Business Cyber Security’ you’ll learn some simple steps you should be taking to prevent devastating and malicious cyber attacks from destroying your business.

Cyber security can no longer be ignored, in this white paper you’ll learn:

· How does business security get breached?
· What can it cost to get it wrong?
· 6 actionable tips

DOWNLOAD NOW!

Graeme Philipson

Graeme Philipson is senior associate editor at iTWire and editor of sister publication CommsWire. He is also founder and Research Director of Connection Research, a market research and analysis firm specialising in the convergence of sustainable, digital and environmental technologies. He has been in the high tech industry for more than 30 years, most of that time as a market researcher, analyst and journalist. He was founding editor of MIS magazine, and is a former editor of Computerworld Australia. He was a research director for Gartner Asia Pacific and research manager for the Yankee Group Australia. He was a long time IT columnist in The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, and is a recipient of the Kester Award for lifetime achievement in IT journalism.

 

Popular News

 

Telecommunications

 

Guest Opinion

 

Sponsored News

 

 

 

 

Connect