According to the UK daily newspaper The Times, Vodafone is planning to shelve the sale of its German fixed line unit Arcor, and will instead retain the subsidiary to concentrate on a push into broadband. Arun Sarin, the head of Vodafone, is expected to seek approval for the new plan from the board at the end of this month.
Arcor – which is valued in excess of EUR1 billion – is Germany’s second largest fixed line operator. It was acquired by Vodafone in early 2000 as part of the UK group’s acquisition of Mannesmann. At the time Vodafone’s strategy was based on being a single-play wireless operator, and it quickly put Arcor up for sale on the basis that the operation was non-core. However no buyer was ever forthcoming, and earlier this year Vodafone revised its business model to include broadband services, under a new ‘convergence’ strategy.