AT&T says no to Vodafone takeover - for now

AT&T says no to Vodafone takeover - for now

Summary: AT&T has poured cold water on speculation it was planning to acquire the European mobile giant.

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AT&T has shot down speculation it was planning to acquire Vodafone, Europe's biggest telco.

A statement filed with the UK Panel on Takeovers and Mergers and published on AT&T's website on Monday said: "At the request of the UK Takeover Panel, AT&T confirms that it does not intend to make an offer for Vodafone."

AT&T said the statement followed "speculation" that a bid was in the offing. Rumours that AT&T was interested Vodafone have been trundling along for some months, with AT&T Randall Stephenson repeatedly saying the company would look to made acquisitions in Europe. However, over the weekend, Sky News reported that Stephenson had met with Neelie Kroes, the European Commissioner for digital, at Davos to lay the groundwork for a future AT&T takeover of the UK-based telco.

AT&T had reportedly been expected to bid for Vodafone following the sale of its stake in Verizon Wireless. The sale, expected to be cleared by Vodafone shareholders this week, will see the telco shed its 45 percent stake in the US mobile provider for $130bn.

While AT&T has publicly backed away from Vodafone for now, the company says it may yet pursue the company at a later date.

"AT&T reserves the right to announce or participate in an offer or possible offer for Vodafone and/or to take any other action which would otherwise be restricted under rule 2.8 of the [UK takeover] code within six months after the date of this announcement," the statement says. Under section 2.8 of the code, AT&T would be allowed to make a move on Vodafone within the six month period should another company attempt to take over the company.

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Topics: Mobility, Telcos, EU, United Kingdom

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