London: British mobile phone giant Vodafone is preparing to sell its multi-billion-pound stake in French telecom company SFR as part of a strategy to focus on core markets, a report said Sunday.
Citing senior sources at Vodafone, the Sunday Times said chief executive Vittorio Colao had decided to sell the French holding in a deal that could be worth £7 billion (€8.4 billion, $10.8 billion).
A spokeswoman for the British firm told AFP that Vodafone owned 44% of SFR, but refused to comment on the reports of a sell-off.
Vodafone this week sold its stake in China Mobile for £4.3 billion, in what was expected to be the first of several sell-offs of minority holdings as the firm seeks to focus on core markets to try to improve its share price.
However, the Sunday Times report said Colao was holding back from any swift sale of Vodafone’s interests in the United States, where it holds a minority stake in Verizon Wireless that could be worth $35 billion.