Recent rumours about the possibility of AT&T acquiring Vodafone - following the latter company’s decision to dispose of its US business - have led to a format statement being issued.
The UK Takeover Panel, which regulates takeover bids and other merger transactions involving UK companies, asked AT&T to make the statement.
The statement reads:
AT&T Inc. (“AT&T”) notes the recent speculation regarding a potential transaction involving Vodafone Group Plc (“Vodafone”).
At the request of the UK Takeover Panel, AT&T confirms that it does not intend to make an offer for Vodafone. Accordingly, AT&T is bound by the restrictions under Rule 2.8 of the UK Takeover Code (the “Code”).
For the purposes of Rule 2.8 of the Code, AT&T reserves the right to announce or participate in an offer or possible offer for Vodafone and/or to take any other action which would otherwise be restricted under Rule 2.8 of the Code within 6 months after the date of this announcement in the circumstances described in note 2 to Rule 2.8 of the Code.
This effectively means that AT&T now isn’t allowed to make a bid for Vodafone within the next six months, although the appearance of a rival bidder would permit AT&T to bid within that time period.