US activist investor Elliott Management reportedly took a “significant stake” in Vodafone, which led to a spike in the UK-based operator’s share price.
Trade news service Dealreporter said that Elliott had bought a new stake in Vodafone, resulting in a jump of almost 4 per cent in its share price in trading yesterday (30 July).
Reports of Elliott’s stakebuilding comes at a period of change for the operator.
It was revealed in May that long-term CEO Vittorio Colao will leave the role in October after a decade in charge, and he will be replaced by current CFO Nick Read.
Last week, the company also reported an almost 5 per cent drop in revenue for its fiscal first quarter, which it blamed on forex headwinds and increased competition in Spain and Italy.
At the same time, Vodafone is looking to secure regulatory approval for its proposed acquisition of Liberty Global’s cable networks in Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania and Germany.
On the latter, the UK’s Telegraph noted that Elliott and Vodafone have previously clashed in the country over the operator’s takeover of Kabel Deutschland, with the fund pushing for a higher price for the takeover that was completed in 2014.
Elliott has been in the headlines regarding its activity in telecoms in recent months after the investment fund also built a stake in Telecom Italia, which set up a battle for control with the operator’s largest shareholder Vivendi.