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Vodafone expands in Italy and Spain

08 октября 2007

Vodafone, the mobile phone operator, has bought Tele2's Italian and Spanish operations for €775m (£537m) in cash to complete the jigsaw of its continental broadband service offerings. The purchase from the Swedish telecommunications group will allow Vodafone to offer broadband in the two countries.

In the UK, it rents lines from BT, while in Germany, it owns fixed-line business Arcor, a unit that came as a by-product of its merger with Mannesmann in 2000.
Broadband has become a key tool for pay-TV operators and telephone groups in attracting and retaining subscribers. Orange and O2 offer broadband services to their subscribers, as do Carphone Warehouse and British Sky Broadcasting.
Vodafone once pursued a policy focused on mobile telephony, but it has since accepted that amid the maturing of wireless markets a more converged or "bundled" offering of communications services, including fixed-line and other services, would provide more growth.
Tele2 Italy has more than 2.6m customers, including 400,000 broadband customers, Tele2 Spain had 550,000 customers, including more than 240,000 broadband subscribers. Vodafone said the transaction was not expected to have a material impact on its 2007/08 outlook and that it would not have an impact on dividend growth expectations in the near term.
Arun Sarin, Vodafone chief executive, said: "It will generate substantial time to market benefits in Italy and Spain, where low broadband penetration and the market structure make ownership of fixed broadband assets attractive."

Источник: Financial Times

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