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Vodafone CEO Gains Potential Ally With e&’s 9.8% Stake

  • Shares in UK firm rise about 4% in early trading Monday
  • e&’s CEO Hatem Dowidar previously worked at Vodafone
A Vodafone store in Melbourne.

A Vodafone store in Melbourne.

Photographer: William West/AFP/Getty Images

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Vodafone Group Plc shares halted their month-long slide after Emirates state-backed telecom firm e& bought a surprise 9.8% stake on Saturday, becoming the group’s largest shareholder.

The sudden arrival of Emirates Telecommunications Group Company PJSC -- now known as e& -- could tilt the scales in a growing debate about the phone group’s strategy. Vodafone Chief Executive Officer Nick Read is trying to consolidate in key markets while facing pressure from shareholders including Europe’s largest activist fund, Cevian Capital AB