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IN BRIEF / TELECOM

Vodafone Might Sell Its Stake in Verizon

February 21, 2004|From Associated Press

Days after losing a bidding war for AT&T Wireless Services Inc., Europe's biggest mobile phone operator, Vodafone Group, said it saw no other likely takeover targets in the United States and might even consider selling its 45% stake in U.S. market leader Verizon Wireless.

Vodafone Chief Executive Arun Sarin discussed his company's American strategy in the wake of Tuesday's agreement by Atlanta-based Cingular Wireless to pay nearly $41 billion for AT&T Wireless.

If Vodafone were to receive an appropriate offer for its minority stake in Verizon, it could use the money to invest in its European operations or return it to shareholders, Sarin said.

However, he said Vodafone was still comfortable with its Verizon business and wasn't looking actively to sell.

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* Verizon Communications Inc. may sell phone lines in Hawaii to private equity firm Carlyle Group, people familiar with the situation said. The 714,773 lines could fetch $2 billion.

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