After many years of seeing no obvious return on Vodafone’s investment in Verizon Wireless, shareholders are to receive a dividend payment.
The board of Verizon Wireless has approved the payment of a $10 billion (£6.1 billion) dividend, which means Vodafone - as a 45% shareholder in Verizon Wireless - will pick up $4.5 billion on 31st January 2012.
Vodafone’s board says it intends to pay a special dividend of £2 billion, equivalent to 4p per share, to Vodafone shareholders in February 2012. The rest of the money will be retained to reduce debt.
Vittorio Colao, Chief Executive of Vodafone, said “Our long term partnership in Verizon’s strong and successful wireless business has seen the value of our investment increase significantly over recent years. The dividend from Verizon Wireless allows us not only to reward our own shareholders with an immediate and sizeable cash return, but also to continue to reinvest in our business to improve our customers’ experience, further strengthen our competitive position and create additional value for shareholders.”