Sir John Bond, who becomes Vodafone’s chairman in July, should review its global strategy. The mobile operator is in investors’ bad books, with its shares trading at a steep discount to the sum of its parts. But a change of strategy — if cleverly executed — could replace the discount with a premium. The solution is to sell Vodafone’s Japanese and US businesses. Not that it will be easy to exit them well.
Take Vodafone Japan, which has been a particularly bad performer. It’s not obvious who would buy it. As a result, Vodafone may find it hard to secure the ?7.7bn the business is worth on CSFB’s estimates.
That said, there is little strategic benefit in keeping Japan. Vodafone’s initial attempt to force Japan to use the same handsets as the rest of the group is one of the reasons it fell behind. Full story here.