Vodafone Group’s proposed sale of its Spain operations to Zegona Communications was approved by the country’s regulators, putting the deal on track to complete imminently.

The operator stated it has now received the necessary clearance for the deal to complete this month, at which point it will receive €4.1 billion in cash and €900 million in the form of redeemable preference shares.   

As a result of the clearance, Vodafone added it intends to commence an initial €500 million share buyback programme on 15 May, part of its wider plans to return €2 billion over the next 12 months.

Vodafone struck the deal to sell the business in October 2023 in a move which will see it exit the market. CEO Margherita Della Valle said at the time the sale of the asset was a “key step in right-sizing” its portfolio for growth and focus resources on more sustainable markets.

She also bemoaned Spain’s market dynamics, describing it as challenging with structurally low returns.

As part of a turnaround strategy, the company also entered into an agreement with Swisscom to sell its business in Italy, with a regulatory process ongoing.

The deal’s clearance comes as the company reported its fiscal 2024 results.