Vodafone has confirmed that it is in discussions to sell its Italian business to Swisscom for €8bn having rebuffed a higher offer from Iliad for an Italian JV in December.
The Spanish and Italian deals should be reassuring to investors, are helpful to the growth profile of the company, and may help to reduce any conglomerate discount in the share price.
The all-important free cashflow impact of the deals remains to be seen with potential for buybacks of up to €10bn compensating for the direct dilution of the deals and softening the blow of any dividend downgrade in May.
Many telcos are surprisingly advanced in exploring GenAI opportunities, mainly in gleaning cost efficiencies in managing their complex systems, but it may also provide a revenue boost.
European telco CEOs made a heartfelt—if not entirely convincing—plea for regulatory/policy help via a ‘new deal’ to help support future investment, highlighting a genuine lack of price/investment balance in European telecoms.
The most convincing specific regulatory/policy solution is in-market consolidation, with other steps either less effective, or unlikely to happen, but a general shift in regulatory attitude could prove helpful in many small ways.