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Vodafone facing more pressure to shed Verizon, other key assets

Chris Ziegler

Among European wireless conglomerates, it's not just Deutsche Telekom that's under the gun to make magic happen for investors these days. Shareholders of the UK's Vodafone are banging on the doors, too, asking why the company's stock is trading an estimated 30 percent lower than the sum of its parts -- and they want something done about it. Part of the problem appears to be the fact that Voda hasn't seen a dime from its 45 percent ownership of Verizon Wireless since 2005 (the joint venture simply hasn't paid any dividends) and it doesn't expect to for at least another couple years -- but there are apparently a variety of assets in its portfoilo around the world that have investors worked up, including its part ownership of France's SFR. CEO Vittorio Colao (pictured) has made no secret of the fact that all options are on the table and Verizon Communications would likely be more than happy to snap up Vodafone's 45 percent stake; with the guys with all the money starting to get worked up, we might see some blockbuster deals happen in 2010.

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