March 17 (Reuters) - Vodafone Group Plc agreed to buy Spain’s largest cable operator Ono for 7.2 billion euros ($10 billion) in the latest move by the British group to expand its European operations with a broadband offering.
Having reaped a $130 billion windfall by selling its stake in Verizon Wireless to its partner Verizon Communications Inc , Vodafone was left with an acquisition war chest of as much as $40 billion even after distributing the majority of the sale proceeds to shareholders and investing billions in its network.
Following is a chronology of key recent events involving Vodafone:
* Feb 13 - Vodafone and Bharti Airtel buy Indian airwaves worth about $3 billion each in a hotly contested auction.
* Feb 10 - Vodafone chief Vittorio Colao says group could have the capacity to spend between $30 billion and $40 billion on acquisitions in coming years and no deal should be too big if it makes strategic sense. He tells reporters he is exploring possibilities for a potential shopping spree on big acquisitions on top of investments in Vodafone’s existing business.
* Feb 6 - Vodafone wins Indian cabinet’s approval for $1.6 billion deal to buy out minority partners in its unit in the country.
* Jan 27 - AT&T rules out bid for Vodafone after Britain’s takeover watchdog asks it to clarify its position following reports it had sounded out European regulators on prospects of a merger. AT&T’s statement means it cannot make an offer for Vodafone for at least six months, unless the British company invites it to do so or a third party enters the fray.
* Nov 12 - Vodafone says it will spend 7 billion pounds to increase the speed and coverage of its networks and reverse a record fall in revenue resulting from its struggling European business. Says it will spend 3 billion pounds in Europe, 1.5 billion in emerging markets and the rest on fixed-line assets, enterprise and its retail arm.
* Sept 2 - Verizon agrees to pay $130 billion to buy Vodafone out of its U.S. wireless business, allowing the UK group to return 71 percent of the net proceeds - or $84 billion - to shareholders while also ramping up investment in its networks.
* June 24 - Vodafone agrees to buy Germany’s largest cable operator Kabel Deutschland for 7.7 billion euros, adding TV and fixed-line services to help defend against mounting competition in its most important market.
* March 13 - Vodafone and Orange to invest up to 1 billion euros in a joint fibre optic network in Spain that will bring superfast Internet to millions of homes.
* Vodafone buys Cable & Wireless Worldwide (CWW) for $1.6 billion, giving it a fixed-line network in Britain.