Cevian builds stake in Vodafone Group, presses for changes

31 Jan 2022

Sweden-based investment firm Cevian Capital has reportedly built an undisclosed stake in UK-based telecoms giant Vodafone Group, Bloomberg reports, citing people familiar with the matter. According to the news outlet, Cevian Capital – which is described as the largest activist investment firm in Europe – has been in discussions with Vodafone Group’s board and management in recent months as it pushes for an improvement in performance.

In terms of specifics, the Swedish firm is reportedly pressing for Vodafone Group to restructure its portfolio and enhance its strategy in key markets, The Financial Times writes, with Cevian particularly keen for the group to be more aggressive in pushing consolidation in some markets – Spain, Italy and the UK are singled out in this respect. In addition, Cevian has also taken aim at the composition of the Vodafone Group board, arguing it is made of individuals with little or no experience in the telecoms industry, which it claims in turn limits the board’s ability to ‘act as a strategic backstop to management’s decision-making’.

United Kingdom, Cevian Capital, Vodafone Group