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THE CUTTING EDGE: FOCUS ON TECHNOLOGY

Vodafone Shareholders Vote Today

January 24, 2000|BLOOMBERG NEWS

LONDON — Vodafone AirTouch shareholders will vote today in London on the company's $162.5-billion hostile bid for Germany's Mannesmann, as well as its joint venture with Bell Atlantic Corp.

The Britist company's offer for Mannesmann, Germany's second-biggest phone company, is the largest-ever hostile bid. Institutional Shareholder Services, a U.S. advisory firm, recommended earlier this month that Vodafone shareholders should back the offer because the combined company's growth prospects would be better than either alone.

The joint venture with New York-based Bell Atlantic, the No. 2 U.S. local phone company, would create the U.S.'s largest wireless phone company. Bell Atlantic would own 55% of the venture and Vodafone the rest.

Over the weekend, Vodafone agreed to buy an additional stake in Airtel worth $4.1 billion as it vies for control of Spain's second-largest wireless company with rival British Telecommunications. Vodafone would own 21.7% of Airtel, and BT 18%.

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