Vodafone Group considered spinning off its entire emerging markets unit, before deciding against the move for the time being, Vittorio Colao, its CEO, revealed.
The company, which has interests in India, Africa, Qatar and Turkey, was embroiled in talks over the summer with cable group Liberty Global over a possible exchange of assets, which put its portfolio into the spotlight.
Following a breakdown in talks, analysts reportedly suggested Vodafone separating from its emerging markets business would make it easier to deal with Liberty Global in Europe.
Reuters reports that speaking at an investor conference held in Barcelona, Colao said Vodafone’s board regularly reviewed the company’s set up, but decided the synergies with the emerging markets justified keeping the group together.
He however did not rule out such a move in the future. “We’re open minded,” he said. “If one day there is a better option we will look at it.”
Colao’s revelation comes after the company announced earlier this week it was preparing an initial public offering for its Indian unit, “subject to market conditions”. Colao reportedly said it would also include its 42 per cent stake in mobile infrastructure company Indus Towers as part of the Indian IPO process.
He also did not rule out restarting talks with John Malone’s Liberty Global, after talks broke down as the groups failed to reach an agreement on valuation of assets.
“There is strategic rationale from combining fixed and mobile assets and getting the synergies out,” he said. “Whether things happen or not, you never know.”