According to a report carried by London’s Financial Times, Vodafone is seeking talks with fellow shareholders in Polish cellco Polkomtel, which could see it increase its stake in the company from 19.6% to 24.4%. The Polish government’s privatisation programme might also eventually offer Vodafone a path to control of Polkomtel.
In 2006 Vodafone objected to plans by TDC to sell its 19.6% stake in Polkomtel, and the matter was referred to a Viennese arbitration tribunal. Last week the tribunal issued a ruling that allows TDC to sell a 14.8% tranche to four state-controlled Polish companies. However, the tribunal is believed to have said that TDC should begin talks with Vodafone about trying to reach agreement on the Danish company selling its remaining 4.8% stake to the UK group. Vodafone said yesterday: ‘Vodafone’s key concerns have been supported by the arbitration panel … In order to move this matter to a swift conclusion, Vodafone will be speaking to all the other shareholders in the coming weeks.’ TDC said it was studying the tribunal’s ruling.