We broke up with some first rumors a few hours ago, but now it’s there official confirmation coming from both parties involved: Vodafone rejected the billionaire offer made by Iliad and therefore will continue to operate independently in Italy. Vodafone is keen to underline the importance of the Italian market and the desire to continue investing in the territory with an official note, in which it also tries to implicitly explain the reason for the refusal:
Vodafone confirms that it has received a highly preliminary and non-binding expression of interest from Iliad and the Apax Partners fund to acquire 100% of Vodafone Italia. Vodafone confirms that it has rejected the expression of interest, as it is not in the best interest of investors. Vodafone’s board and management remain focused on delivering shareholder value through a combination of a medium-term organic growth strategy and ongoing portfolio optimization. Vodafone continues to pragmatically pursue various consolidation opportunities that enhance value to provide sustainable market structures in its key European markets, including Italy.
Iliad, for its part, is keen to do the same and so he commented on the sharp no from Vodafone with a short press release, from which, to be honest, a certain discontent shines through and the real figure of the proposal comes out, which is of 11.25 billion euros and not 14 as reported by Bloomberg in recent days:
Iliad acknowledges Vodafone’s rejection of its € 11.25 billion offer and will pursue its stand-alone strategy. The offer had the merits of reflecting a very high premium for Vodafone Italia, being a 100% cash offer, fully benefiting from the strong financial support of one of the top three European banks and a financial partner, responding to the wishes of the consolidation management of Vodafone in Italy and being in the best interest of Vodafone shareholders.
Nothing done then in the end. We do not know if Iliad will try again in the future, but from how it seems to have taken it probably not and will probably try to give Vodafone as much a hard time as possible both in mobile and fixed. We’ll see how it evolves, if it does, in the near future.