Vodafone Group Plc On The Rise After AT&T Inc. Takeover Rumours Emerge

Shares in Vodafone (LSE: VOD) (NASDAQ: VOD.US) lifted by 3% this morning following the re-emergence of whispers that it could be a target for major mobile player AT&T (NYSE: T.US).

Bloomberg reported yesterday that the American group was exploring the possibility of incorporating Vodafone’s best assets and selling off others in a possible takeover deal, citing “people familiar with the situation”.

These rumours aren’t new, as they surfaced during Verizon‘s talks with the British-based telecoms company before the former bought out Vodafone’s share in joint-venture Verizon Wireless. But this is the first time there seems to potentially be some substance behind the claims.

It’s well known in the industry that AT&T has been looking to spread its reach into Europe, with chief executive Randall Stephenson talking up the opportunities in the continent. Vodafone rival EE has also been considered in the past, but City talk is now focused on the FTSE favourite.

Stephenson eyes Europe in part due to its relatively slow-paced adoption of advanced wireless options, while it’s also falling behind Verizon in capturing new customers in the US. A takeover of Vodafone would offer new markets to tackle, should a deal come to fruition.

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> Sam owns shares in Vodafone. The Motley Fool has recommended shares in Vodafone.