Vodafone to pay shareholders special £2 billion dividend in February once it is paid £2.8 billion due to 45 per cent stake in US operator Verizon Wireless, which is paying first dividend since 2005
The US’s largest mobile operator Verizon Wireless has said it will pay a dividend of £6.1 billion on January 31 next year, netting 45 per cent shareholderVodafone £2.8 billion.
Vodafone’s board said it will pay a specialdividend of £ 2 billion to shareholders in February following the payout by Verizon.
The remaining money from Verizon will be used to reduce existing debt.
The dividend will be the first paid by Verizon Wireless, which is majority controlled by US firm Verizon Communications, since 2005.
Vodafone CEO Vittorio Colao (pictured) said: “Our long term partnership in Verizon’s strong and successful wireless business has seen the value of our investment increase significantly over recent years.
“The dividend from Verizon Wireless allows us not only to reward our own shareholders with an immediate and sizeable cash return, but also to continue to reinvest in our business to improve our customers’ experience, further strengthen our competitive position and create additional value for shareholders.”
Vodafone has been divesting itself of minority stakes in operations around the world in a bid to ensure it can exert control over its investments.
As the junior partner in the Verizon Wireless joint venture, the firm has limited influence on issues such as dividend payments and some had questioned whether Vodafone should also exit the US.