Vodafone's Dilemma: How to Spend a 12-Figure Bank Account

Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

After Vodafone lost more than half its value since Verizon Wireless began offering mobile services in 2000, shareholders say Vodafone’s priority should be to return a large amount to investors. Close

After Vodafone lost more than half its value since Verizon Wireless began offering... Read More

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Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

After Vodafone lost more than half its value since Verizon Wireless began offering mobile services in 2000, shareholders say Vodafone’s priority should be to return a large amount to investors.

What would you do with a $100 billion payday? European wireless carrier Vodafone Group may go on a shopping spree, and two large communications companies could be at the top of its list.

My colleague Amy Thomson in London reported today that Newbury, England-based Vodafone will have more cash than every other non-finance company after Apple when it sells its stake in Verizon Wireless, which it's expected to do. The deal will give Vodafone $100 billion, enough to pay a big dividend to investors and snap up some large companies -- with plenty of room to spare.

Two targets could include Germany’s largest cable operator Kabel Deutschland, which has a market value of $8.3 billion, and billionaire John Malone’s Liberty Global, which has telecommunications assets throughout Europe and Latin America. The deals would expand Vodafone's ability to sell voice, TV and Internet services as a package. The companies all declined to comment.

Either way, Vodafone's pocketbook is about to get a lot bigger. And as Apple has discovered, it's hard to amass a twelve-figure cash horde without getting a lot of advice about how to spend it.

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