Vodafone has completed the sale of its 25% stake in Swisscom Mobile for GBP1.8 billion (USD3.51 billion) to Swisscom, giving the Swiss group 100% ownership. The sale will generate a financial gain of just GBP100 million for Vodafone, which acquired the holding in January 2001. The deal is the latest in a series of sales that has seen Vodafone reduce its holdings in established mobile operators to focus on emerging markets where mobile phone ownership is at lower levels.
In March, Vodafone completed the GBP8.9 billion sale of its Japanese mobile unit to Softbank, the mobile telecoms and internet group. Last month it sold its quarter share of Proximus, the Belgian cellco, to co-owner Belgacom for EUR1 billion. It has also sold a 100% stake in Vodafone Sweden to Telenor. However, the British wireless giant has been active in acquiring a growing presence in emerging markets. Last year it paid GBP820 million for a 10% stake in Bharti Aircel, India’s fastest growing mobile operator. It is also expanding in South Africa and earlier this month became the majority shareholder in its Egyptian mobile arm.