by Burke Speaker | January 27, 2014 8:53 am
Shares of Vodafone (VOD) VOD stock fell to the lowest levels in five years following word from AT&T (T) that it would not be buying the company.
Vodafone fell 7.2%, the biggest drop since 2008, before regaining some of the loss. Shares are up 53% from last year.
AT&T will not be allowed to offer to buy Vodafone for the next six months, according to UK rules governing such takeovers. AT&T made the announcement after a request of the U.K. takeover panel. (via Bloomberg)
Executives of Dallas-based AT&T were laying the groundwork internally for a potential acquisition of Vodafone this year, people with knowledge of the matter told Bloomberg News. While AT&T is now ruling out an immediate offer for Vodafone, with a market value of $177 billion before a sale of its U.S. venture is completed, it could make a bid later on, said Simon Weeden, an analyst at Citigroup Inc. inLondon.
“The move could indicate that AT&T is either uninterested altogether or merely unprepared to start a process today given time constraints,” Weeden said in a note to clients.
Analysts in the past have estimated that Vodafone could be worth about $130 billion to an acquirer after it sells its stake in U.S. carrier Verizon Wireless to partner Verizon.
While AT&T is looking to Europe in its expansion plans, the decision to pass on a VOD buyout means it’s allowed to wait to see how the company projects its finances for the next year.
T stock is up less than a percent in pre-market trading.
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