United Arab Emirates-based telecoms group e& has increased its stake in Vodafone to 14 percent, saying its rationale was unchanged from May 2022 when it bought a 9.8 percent stake to “enhance and develop its international portfolio.”
Vodafone’s shares have fallen 15 percent since e& first invested, as the London-listed group has struggled to improve weak performance in three out of its four biggest European markets, resulting in the departure of its chief executive in December.
This month Liberty Global bought a near 5 percent stake in Vodafone, describing it as an opportunistic investment and stating it would not seek a board seat or mount a takeover bid.
Liberty Global CEO Mike Fries said Vodafone’s share price did not reflect the underlying value of the business and its opportunities for consolidation.
French telecoms tycoon Xavier Niel bought a 2.5 percent stake in Vodafone in September. He said he was ready to advise Vodafone’s board on its strategy when Read was replaced on an interim basis by finance director Margherita Della Valle in December.
Shares in Vodafone rose 0.8 percent in early deals on Tuesday.
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