| NEW YORK
NEW YORK Feb 10 Vodafone Group Plc
could have the capacity to spend $30 billion to $40 billion on
acquisitions in coming years and no deal should be too big if it
makes strategic sense, Chief Executive Vittorio Colao said on
Colao told reporters he was exploring possibilities for big
acquisitions on top of investments in Vodafone's existing
business after a $130 billion windfall it will get from an asset
sale to Verizon Communications later this month.
"We are looking at acquisitions that are sizeable and could
transform the company," said the executive at a media roundtable
in New York where he laid out his strategy for the world's
second-largest mobile operator.
"The theory is that if an acquisition makes sense you should
not be worried by the size because shareholders should approve
it," he added.
Vodafone may have $40 billion spending money after returning
most of the Verizon deal proceeds to shareholders and investing
$30 billion in its network over roughly two years if the company
sticks to its target for a ratio of two to one for debt to
earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization, he
While the executive was careful not to name any acquisition
targets he said Vodafone is keen to build up its fixed-line
assets in Europe, its enterprise business around the world and
its mobile business in emerging markets.
He said that Vodafone has a roughly 16 to 17 percent share
of the total telecommunications market and that it could
conceivably increase this to a range of 20 to 23 percent.
Vodafone is selling its 45 percent stake in Verizon
Wireless, the biggest U.S. mobile service, to Verizon, which
already owns 55 percent of that company and controls the asset.