Vodafone CEO: We will invest in ourselves
Vodafone's priority following the $130 billion sale of its stake in Verizon Wireless will be to use the cash pile for accelerating investment in its own wireless networks, Vittorio Colao, CEO, Vodafone told CNBC late Monday.
While acquiring overseas assets is an option, that won't be immediate.
(Read more: How should Vodafone spend Verizon's $130 billion?)
"We will be a great data company, we will do it investing in ourselves, and if we find good opportunities, eventually buying assets. But we will continue to be disciplined and value oriented as we have been in the last years," Vittorio Colao, CEO, Vodafone told CNBC late Monday.
After the close of trade on the London Stock Exchange Monday, Vodafone confirmed the sale of its 45 percent stake in Verizon Wireless toVerizon Communications, in the third largest deal in corporate history after Vodafone's $203 billion takeover of Germany's Mannesmann in 1999 and AOL's $181 billion acquisition of Time Warner the year after.
The company wants to use the cash to launch a £6 billion ($9.3 billion) investment plan named Project Spring to speed up the introduction of 4G networks and increase investment in installing fiber optic cables to offer faster broadband services to customers.
The majority, or 71 percent, of the deal's proceeds, however, will be handed back to shareholders. The company plans to return $84 billion in cash and shares to shareholders.
"Let me say that this is a very large deal. We are fortunate enough that the size of the deal itself allows us to return a large percentage to shareholders. But even the remaining 21 percent is large enough to strengthen the company and to allow us to accelerate our strategy," Colao said.
Responding to speculation that the smaller Vodafone entity may emerge as an acquisition target for AT&T, the largest U.S. telecoms group, he said: "I would not speculate about situations that are not present. I have to remind everybody that we have a great company, a great strategy. And this strategy we're confident will generate good returns to shareholders. This company, this brand has chapter three of its history to write.