case study 4 pages single spaced due 8PM EST 9/21

Complete the Vodafone India case. Read the Vodafone India Case file first, and follow the instructions in it to find out about the rest of the assignment. In addition specifically consider the cultural orientations of the countries participating in case, and their impact upon it. I have attached 5 files

VVooddaaffoonnee IInnddiiaa CCaassee


According to the Wall Street Journal:

It wasn’t long ago that India was hailed as one of the world’s most promising growth
markets. But mercurial regulation, stifling bureaucracy and slower economic growth have
shaken foreign companies’ confidence about making big investments here. Now a case at
the country’s highest court threatens to make the climate chillier still. India’s Supreme
Court is preparing to issue its decision on whether U.K.-based Vodafone Group PLC
must pay about $2.6 billion in taxes on an $11.1 billion deal it struck in 2007 with a unit
of Hong Kong’s Hutchison Whampoa Ltd. to enter India. (Sharma, Becket & Bahree,

In this case study, you are asked to examine the company Vodafone in the context of its merger
to form Vodafone India. You are also asked to consider the merger in light of the suit brought
against Vodafone India by the government of India to collect about $2.6 billion in taxes that
India asserts are owed to it as a result of the merger.

RReeaaddiinngg MMaatteerriiaallss

I suggest that you read the materials that I am providing to you in this order:

1. Multinational Firms Brace for Vodafone Ruling in India
2. Vodafone India
3. Vodafone
4. Vodafone-Outcome

These are all located in Doc Sharing. Of course, you can read any additional materials you would
like to. Please write up the Vodafone India case in the same way that we have been doing with
the other cases. Also, answer the specific questions below.

SSppeecciiffiicc QQuueessttiioonnss

1. Consider the mode of entry chosen by Vodafone to enter the India market. What are the pros
and cons of this strategy? What is your opinion of the one they chose?

2. Consider what we have been reading about risk mitigation in pursuit of foreign investments.
What is your opinion of the strategies that Vodafone used to hedge their risks in their India
market entry, and do you think these were sufficient? Should Vodafone have anticipated the
legal entanglement they encountered? What, if anything, would you have done differently?

3. Vodafone has developed a reputation as a company that is relentless in its determination to
avoid taxes. At the same time, India has developed a reputation for taxing foreign entities in
ways that are unexpected, and that many companies think are unfair. Having reviewed the
materials for this case, what do you think about the merits of the Vodafone India tax case?

See a sample reprint in PDF format. Order a reprint of this article now


WSJ’s Amol Sharma has details of a pending decision
from India’s Supreme Court regarding Vodafone’s tax
liability stemming from a 2007 deal. REUTERS/Mukesh


NEW DELHI—It wasn’t long ago that India was hailed as one of the world’s most promising growth markets. But
mercurial regulation, stifling bureaucracy and slower economic growth have shaken foreign companies’
confidence about making big investments here.

Now a case at the country’s highest court threatens to make the
climate chillier still.

India’s Supreme Court is preparing to issue its decision on whether
U.K.-based Vodafone Group PLC must pay about $2.6 billion in taxes
on an $11.1 billion deal it struck in 2007 with a unit of Hong Kong’s
Hutchison Whampoa Ltd. to enter India.

A Vodafone loss would damp cross-border mergers and acquisitions
here, many deal experts say, rendering standard transaction
structures too risky and forcing foreign companies to weigh potentially
new litigation and insurance costs. Some companies might simply
decide that India isn’t worth the headache. A ruling is expected in

If the decision goes against Vodafone, investors will “think twice before
going for opportunities in India,” says Mahesh Kumar, an M&A lawyer
at Nishith Desai Associates who advises foreign clients. “It could
severely damage the entire investment scene.” His firm provided
advice to Vodafone at the lower-court level.

Vodafone has said India doesn’t have jurisdiction to tax the Hutchison
deal because it was structured as a transaction between two
overseas entities. The government says it has authority because
the underlying asset was Indian.

Several other companies, including AT&T Inc. of the U.S. and
Britain’s SABMiller PLC, are fighting similar tax claims and
Indian authorities have been handing out tax notices to other
companies, deal lawyers say.

A tough stance on corporate taxes would add to a passel of
developments that have caused many companies to sour on

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Multinationals Brace for India Ruling on Vodafone

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New Delhi’s Reformettes: India’s Prime
Minister Thinks Small

Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

Germany’s Fraport AG has a stake in Delhi’s airport,
above, but has been stymied elsewhere in the country

Mixed Messages

Foreign firms have had a variety of experiences in
India. Examples:

Huawei Technologies: Chinese telecom-gear
maker drops plans to set up factory as demand

Boeing/Pratt & Whitney: Defense Ministry
agrees to acquire 10 C-17 cargo aircraft from
U.S. firm; U.S.-based Pratt & Whitney wins
engine contract on four of the planes

Vedanta Resources: U.K.-based company
waits 15 months for approval to buy 30% stake
in oiland-gas company Cairn India

Fraport: Frankfurt-based airport operator,
which has 10% stake New Delhi’s airport, says
it may close its New Delhi office as privatization
of other Indian airports bogs down

The government last month reversed its decision to allow
multibrand foreign retailers, such as U.S.-based Wal-Mart
Stores Inc. and the U.K.’s Tesco PLC to invest in India. The
flip-flop quashed what would have been a turning point in

business here and left many foreign companies questioning whether they can trust New Delhi’s future promises.
(Single-brand retailers, such as Nike Inc. and IKEA, are permitted to invest, and New Delhi on Tuesday removed
a 51% ownership cap for them.)

Meanwhile, exiting investments in unlisted businesses is getting tougher for foreign companies. India’s central
bank is threatening to block deals in which closely held Indian businesses are contractually required to buy back
shares from foreign investors, usually because the Indian companies haven’t met performance benchmarks. The
Reserve Bank of India says such arrangements amount to equity-derivative transactions, from which foreign
firms are barred.

That comes against the backdrop of an economy that has lost
some steam. Gross domestic product, once projected to increase
9% in the fiscal year ending March 31, is now expected to rise at
a 7% pace or slower. And interest-rate increases are crimping
corporate investment. Corruption scandals also have left
bureaucrats afraid of making decisions for fear of being
investigated later.

After a net inflow of $29 billion from foreign investors in Indian
stocks in 2010, there was a $540 million net outflow last year,
one reason the country’s benchmark index sank 25% last year.

India says it remains committed to attracting foreign
investment and that foreigners’ confidence will increase as the

economy recovers. “They pick up the mood of domestic industry,” says Kaushik Basu, India’s chief economic
adviser. Foreign direct investment plunged in fiscal 2011, but Mr. Basu says he expects a strong rebound for the
current year. On Wednesday, a government panel recommended allowing foreign airlines to acquire up to 49%
of domestic carriers.

Mr. Basu says foreign multibrand retailing could be
reconsidered this year. “It still has a decent chance, but has to
be tweaked a bit,” he says.

For now, though, many companies are gloomy.

“Two years ago we had high expectations and those have
evaporated,” says Ansgar Sickert, managing director of Fraport
India. Its parent, Frankfurt-based airport operator Fraport AG,
has a 10% stake in the joint venture that owns Delhi’s airport.
But government promises to privatize other existing airports
have fizzled.

“There has been a lot of talk—a lot of deadlines come and
go—but nothing concrete is happening,” Mr. Sickert says.
Fraport in response has shifted its focus to Brazil and is likely to
close its Delhi office later this year, he says.

The Civil Aviation Ministry didn’t respond to requests for comment.

Germany’s Würth Elektronik GmbH, which makes circuit boards used in an array of products including cars and
cellphone towers, in 2006 set out to build a plant in India’s southern state of Karnataka but still hasn’t been able

Multinational Firms Brace for Vodafone Ruling in India -……

2 of 4 1/12/2012 6:13 PM

to acquire land.

“There are so many bureaucratic hurdles and procedures—you get muddled and stuck,” says Harsha Adya, a
Würth executive in India. The company says it refused to use middlemen to pay off bureaucrats to speed matters
along—something many Indian entrepreneurs consider a cost of doing business.

Würth, meanwhile, has built a 200-acre industrial park in China, where government officials have sought
investment from the company, Mr. Adya says.

The state agency that reviews investment and land-acquisition proposals in Karnataka didn’t respond to requests
for comment.

Not all companies are losing faith in India.

Ford Motor Co. Chief Executive Alan Mulally says the auto maker remains optimistic about India. Ford in July
announced plans to invest nearly $1 billion in a new factory in the western state of Gujarat, the company’s second
plant in India. “This is about serving Indian customers and we are more bullish about that than ever,” says Mr.
Mulally, in town for a trade show this month.

But executives at other firms voice frustration. BP PLC in August closed a $7.2 billion deal to acquire stakes in
oil-and-gas exploration blocks controlled by India’s Reliance Industries Ltd. Last month, however, BP Chief
Executive Bob Dudley complained to Indian Petroleum Minister Jaipal Reddy about bureaucratic delays.

“I am deeply concerned that unless we get approvals and permits to begin these seabed surveys this December,
we will lose a year in our goal of bringing materially new amounts of gas to the Indian market,” Mr. Dudley
wrote, according to a copy of a letter reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. It isn’t clear whether the U.K.-based
company ultimately got the approvals. The company declined to comment for this article. An Oil Ministry
spokesman said he couldn’t comment.

Coming after such hurdles, the Vodafone tax case has taken on heightened significance.

Corporate lawyer Rajiv Luthra says a Vodafone loss would place India in contrast to most other countries, which
don’t tax deals involving two overseas entities, and could encourage India to tax deals that hadn’t been in its
jurisdiction. “It’s a slippery path,” the Luthra & Luthra managing partner says.

Some deal lawyers say a ruling against Vodafone might not be so dire. “Foreign investments are made not on tax
policies, but on long-term prospects for growth,” says tax lawyer H.P. Ranina. Others say that even if Vodafone
loses, an unambiguous ruling at least will provide clarity.

Even if Vodafone prevails, however, its four-year trek through India’s courts can serve as a cautionary note.

The case stems from Vodafone’s 2007 purchase of a controlling stake in Indian mobile-phone company
Hutchison Essar Ltd. Since a Dutch subsidiary of Vodafone acquired a Cayman Islands company that held
Hutchison Whampoa’s India assets, Vodafone says India doesn’t have tax jurisdiction.

Indian authorities argue that since the underlying asset was an Indian cellphone company, the deal is taxable

A Mumbai court sided with Indian tax authorities last year, prompting Vodafone’s appeal to the Supreme Court.

A Vodafone spokesman declined to comment. A spokeswoman for India’s tax department couldn’t be reached.

—Rakesh Sharma contributed to this article.

Write to Amol Sharma at and Paul Beckett at

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Multinational Firms Brace for Vodafone Ruling in India -……

4 of 4 1/12/2012 6:13 PM

VVooddaaffoonnee IInnddiiaa

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved January 18, 2012 from

Vodafone India, formerly Vodafone
Essar and Hutchison Essar, is the
second largest mobile network operator
in India after Airtel. It is based in
Mumbai, Maharashtra and which
operates nationally. [1] It has
approximately 144.99 million customers.

On July 2011, Vodafone Group agreed
terms for the buy-out of its partner Essar
from its Indian mobile phone business.
The UK firm paid $5.46 billion to its
Indian counterpart to take Essar out of its
33% stake in the Indian subsidiary. It
will leave Vodafone owning 74% of the
Indian business, while the other 26% will
be owned by Indian investors, in
compliance with Indian law.[2] On 11
February, 2007, Vodafone agreed to
acquire the controlling interest of 67%
held by Li Ka Shing Holdings in Hutch-
Essar for US$11.1 billion, pipping
Reliance Communications, Hinduja
Group, and Essar Group, which is the
owner of the remaining 33%. The whole company was valued at USD 18.8 billion.[3] The
transaction closed on 8 May, 2007. It offers both prepaid and postpaid GSM cellular phone
coverage throughout India with good presence in the metros.

Vodafone India provides 2.75G services based on 900 MHz and 1800 MHz digital GSM
technology. Vodafone India launched 3G services in the country in the January-March quarter of
2011 and plans to spend up to $500 million within two years on its 3G networks.[4]


HHuuttcchhiissoonn EEssssaarr ((11999922–22000077))

In 1992, Hutchison Whampoa and its Indian business partner – Max Group, established a
company that in 1994 was awarded a licence to provide mobile telecommunications services in
Bombay (now Mumbai) and launched commercial services as Hutchison Max in November
1995. In Delhi, Uttar Pradesh (East), Rajasthan and Haryana, Essar Group was the major partner.
But later Hutch took the majority stake.

Vodafone India

Type Private (subsidiary of VodafoneGroup Plc)

Industry Telecommunications

Predecessor Hutchison Essar

Founded 199


Headquarters Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Products Mobile telephonyWireless broadband services

Parent Vodafone Group



By the time of Hutchison Telecom’s Initial Public Offering in 2004, Hutchison Whampoa had
acquired interests in six mobile telecommunications operators providing service in 13 of India’s
23 licence areas and following the completion of the acquisition of BPL Mobile that number
increased to 16. In 2006, it announced the acquisition of a company (Essar Spacetel — A
subsidiary of Essar Group) that held licence applications for the seven remaining licence areas.
Initially, the company grew its business in the largest wireless markets in India — in cities like
Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata. In these densely populated urban areas it was able to establish a
robust network, well known brand and large distribution network – all vital to long-term success
in India. Then it also targeted business users and high-end post-paid customers which helped
Hutchison Essar to consistently generate a higher Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) than its
competitors. By adopting this focused growth plan, it was able to establish leading positions in
India’s largest markets providing the resources to expand its footprint nationwide.

In February 2007, Hutchison Telecom announced that it had entered into a binding agreement
with a subsidiary of Vodafone Group Plc to sell its 67% direct and indirect equity and loan
interests in Hutchison Essar Limited for a total cash consideration (before costs, expenses and
interests) of approximately $11.1 billion.

Hutch was often praised for its award winning advertisements which all follow a clean,
minimalist look. A recurrent theme is that its message “Hi” stands out visibly though it uses only
white letters on red background. Another successful ad campaign in 2003 featured a pug named
Cheeka following a boy around in unlikely places, with the tagline, “Wherever you go, our
network follows.” The simple yet powerful advertisement campaigns won it many admirers. Ads
featuring the pug were continued by Vodafone even after rebranding. The brand subsequently
introduced ZooZoos which gained even higher popularity than was created by the Pug.
Vodafone’s creative agency is O&M while Harit Nagpal was the Marketing Director during the
various phases of it’s brand evolution.


1992: Hutchison Whampoa and Max Group establish Hutchison Max
2000: Acquisition of Delhi operations and entry into Calcutta (now Kolkata) and Gujarat markets
through Essar acquisition

2001: Won auction for licences to operate GSM services in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and

2003: Acquired AirCel Digilink (ADIL — ESSAR Subsidiary)
which operated in Rajastan, Uttar Pradesh East and Haryana telecom
circles and rebranded it ‘Hutch’.

2004: Launched in three additional telecom circles of India namely
Punjab, Uttar Pradesh (West) and West Bengal.

2005: Acquired BPL Mobile operations in 3 circles. This left BPL
with operations only in Mumbai, where it still operates under the
brand ‘Loop Mobile’.


2007: Vodafone acquires a 67% stake in Hutchison Essar for $10.7 billion. The company is
renamed Vodafone Essar. ‘Hutch’ is rebranded to ‘Vodafone’.

2008: Vodafone acquires the licences in remaining 7 circles and has starts its pending operations
in Madhya Pradesh circle, as well as in Orissa, Assam, North East and Bihar.

2011: Vodafone Group buys out its partner Essar from its Indian mobile phone business. It paid
$5.46 billion to take Essar out of its 33% stake in the Indian subsidiary. It left Vodafone owning
74% of the Indian business.

VVooddaaffoonnee aaccqquuiirreess EEssssaarr”ss SSttaakkee

On March 31, 2011, Vodafone Group Plc announced that it would buy an additional 33% stake
in its Indian joint venture for $5 billion after partner Essar Group exercised an option to sell the
holding in the mobile-phone operator. The deal will raise Vodafone’s stake to 75%. Essar will
exit the company after it implemented a put option over 22% of the venture. Vodafone exercised
its call option to buy an 11% stake.[5]

In 2007, Vodafone granted options to Essar that would enable the conglomerate to sell its entire
stake for $5bn, or to dispose of part of the 33 per cent shareholding at an independently
appraised fair market value. In January 2011, Vodafone objected to Essar’s plans to place part of
its 33% stake in India Securities, a small public company. Vodafone feared the move would give
an inflated market value to Vodafone Essar.[6] It had approached the market regulator SEBI and
also filed a petition in the Madras High Court.

The final shareholding pattern post this deal was not provided by the company as it was not clear
whether Vodafone’s stake would exceed the 74 per cent FDI limit. Indian laws don’t allow
foreign companies to own more than 74% in a local mobile-phone operator. Vodafone has
assured it will comply with local rules. Vodafone will have to sell that 1% to some Indian entity,
or they’ll have to consider an initial public offering. Vodafone also said that final settlement is
anticipated to be completed by November 2011. The completion of the deal would be subject to
meeting certain conditions which include Reserve Bank of India’s permission as well as
valuation of the deal.[7]

VVooddaaffoonnee–HHuuttcchhiissoonn TTaaxx CCaassee

Vodafone is embroiled in a $2.5 billion tax dispute with the Indian Income Tax Department over
its purchase of Hutshison Essar Telecom services in April 2007. It is being alleged by the Indian
Tax authorities that the transaction involved purchase of assets of an Indian Company, and
therefore the transaction, or part thereof is liable to be taxed in India.[8]

Vodafone Group Plc. entered India in 2007 through a subsidiary based in the Netherlands, which
acquired Hutchison Telecommunications International Ltd’s (HTIL) Hutchison
Telecommunications International Limited stake in Hutchison Essar Ltd (HEL)—the joint
venture that held and operated telecom licences in India. This Cayman Islands transaction, along
with several related agreements, gave Vodafone control over 67% of HEL and extinguished


Hong Kong-based Hutchison’s rights of control in India, a deal that cost the world’s largest telco
$11.2 billion at the time.[9]

The crux of the dispute till now has been whether or not the Indian Income Tax Department has
jurisdiction over the transaction. Vodafone has maintained from the outset that it is not liable to
pay tax in India, and even if tax were somehow payable, then it should be Hutchison to bear the
tax liability.

The Supreme Court of India has concluded the final hearing on the case and the judgment will be
issued soon. The verdict is likely to have a bearing on investment flows into India. China has
since changed its laws to ensure that transactions of this nature fall within its tax web.


On 19 May 2010, the 3G spectrum auction in India ended. Vodafone paid 11617.86 million (the
second highest amount in the auctions) for spectrum in 10 circles. The circles it will provide 3G
in are Delhi, Kanpur, Gujarat, Haryana, Kolkata, Maharashtra & Goa, Mumbai, Tamil Nadu,
Uttar Pradesh (East) and West Bengal.[10] Vodafone also operates 3G services in Kerala, Andhra
Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh (West) through an agreement with Idea and in Karnataka through an
agreement with Airtel.. This gives Vodafone a 3G presence in 13 out of 22 circles in India.
On 16 March, 2011, Vodafone launched 3G services in Uttar Pradesh (East) in the city of
Lucknow.[11] Vodafone had already launched limited 3G services in Chennai and Delhi earlier,
but the Uttar Pradesh (East) launch counts as its first fully commercial launch. This makes
Vodafone the fifth private operator (seventh overall) to launch its 3G services in the country
following Tata Docomo, Reliance Communications, Airtel and Aircel.

On 23rd June, 2011 Vodafone launched 3G service in Kerala by joining with Idea in an Intra
Circle Roaming agreement. Initially Vodafone 3G services will be available in the following
cities in Kerala – Ernakulam, Aluva, Calicut, Koyilandy, Alappuzha, Cherthala, Malappuram
and Manjeri.

SSuubbssccrriibbeerr BBaassee

Following is the Vodafone India subscriber base statistics as on June 2011.[12]

Total number of Vodafone India Subscribers : 14,15,19,840, i.e. 23.63% of the total
59,87,79,674 Indian mobile phone subscribers.
Source :

IInnaaccttiivvee SSuubbssccrriibbeerrss

On 19 December 2011, Vodafone said it would discontinue mobile services of prepaid customers
whose connections are lying unused — with no voice calls (incoming or outgoing), SMS and
data usage — for any continuous period of 60 days. “This guideline has been implemented
because the Department of Telecommunications’ stringent guideline for allocation of new
number series based on subscribers in VLR (visitor location register) has created acute shortage
of numbers, for any telecom company,” Vodafone said in a statement. The mobile operator
further said that new customers would be intimated of the deactivation process in their starter


kits, while existing customers would be informed via SMS and outbound calls, wherever

As per industry estimates, around 25% of the total subscriber base is lying unused. DoT has
asked mobile operators to screen their users and allocate unused numbers to new subscribers.


Vodafone competes with 14 other mobile operators throughout India. They are Aircel, Airtel,
Cheers Mobile, BSNL, Idea, Loop Mobile, MTNL, MTS, Ping Mobile, Reliance
Communications, S Tel, Tata DoCoMo, Tata Indicom, Uninor, Videocon and Virgin Mobile.

SSeeee aallssoo

 Vodafone
 Vodafone market share


1. ^ “Vodafone Essar Ltd: Vodafone India — Mobile Communications worldwide”. 2009-03-31. Retrieved 2009-05-01.

2. ^ Vodafone finalises India mobile subsidiary buyout

3. ^ “/ Companies / Telecoms — Investors welcome Vodafone deal”. Retrieved 2009-

4. ^ “News By Industry”. The Times Of India. 21 October 2010.

5. ^ Vodafone to Buy Additional Essar India Stake for $5 billion – Bloomberg

6. ^ / Telecoms – Vodafone pays $5bn for Essar stake

7. ^ Essar exits Vodafone-Essar joint venture for $5 billion – NDTV Profit

8. ^ [1]

9. ^ [2].

10. ^ India’s 3G Auction Ends; Operator And Circle-Wise Results – MediaNama

11. ^ GSMA Mobile Business Briefing – Telecoms news from around the world

12. ^

13. ^


EExxtteerrnnaall lliinnkkss

 Vodafone India Official website
 Vodafone Group Official website


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved February 5, 2012 from

Vodafone Group Plc (LSE: VOD,
NASDAQ: VOD) is a British
telecommunications company
headquartered in London, United
Kingdom.[2] It is the world’s largest
mobile telecommunications company
measured by revenues and the world’s
second-largest measured by subscribers
(behind China Mobile), with over 391
million subscribers as of September

Vodafone owns and operates networks in
over 30 countries and has partner
networks in over 40 additional
countries.[6] It owns 45% of Verizon
Wireless, the largest mobile
telecommunications company in the
United States measured by
subscribers.[7][8] The name Vodafone
comes from voice data fone, chosen by
the company to “reflect the provision of
voice and data services over mobile

Vodafone has a primary listing on the
London Stock Exchange and is a
constituent of the FTSE 100 Index. It had
a market capitalisation of approximately
£89.4 billion as of 23 December 2011,
the second-largest of any company listed
on the London Stock Exchange.[10] It has
a secondary listing on NASDAQ.


2200tthh cceennttuurryy

Vodafone’s original logo, used until the introduction of
the speechmark logo in 199


Vodafone Group Plc

Type Public limited company


Industry Telecommunications

Predecessor(s) Racal Telecom (1983 to 1991)

Founded 1991

Headquarters London, United Kingdom

Area served Worldwide

Key people
Gerard Kleisterlee (Chairman)
Vittorio Colao (CEO)

Fixed line and mobile telephony,
Internet services, digital television

Revenue £45.88 billion (2011)[1]


£5.596 billion (2011)[1]

Profit £7.968 billion (2011)[1]

Total assets £151.22 billion (2011)[1]

Total equity £87.55 billion (2011)[1]

Employees 83,862 (March 2011)[1]

Subsidiaries List[show]



Part of the Vodafone campus in Newbury, Berkshire.
In 1980, Sir Ernest Harrison OBE, chairman of Racal
Electronics plc’s, the UK’s largest maker of military radio
technology, agreed a deal with Lord Weinstock of General
Electric Company plc to allow Racal to access some of
GEC’s tactical battlefield radio technology. Briefing the head
of Racal’s military radio division Gerry Whent to drive the
company into commercial mobile radio, Whent visited GE’s
factory in Virginia, USA in 1980.[11]

In 1982, Racal’s newly formed Racal Strategic Radio Ltd subsidiary won one of two UK cellular
telephone network licences, with the other going to British Telecom[12][13] The network, known
as Racal Vodafone, was 80% owned by Racal, with Millicom holding 15% and Hambros
Technology Trust 5%. Vodafone was launched on 1 January 1985.[14] Racal Strategic Radio was
renamed Racal Telecommunications Group Limited in 1985.[13] On 29 December 1986, Racal
Electronics bought out the minority shareholders of Vodafone for GB£110 million.[15]

Under stock market pressure to realise full value for shareholders (the mobile unit was being
valued at the same amount as the whole Racal group), in September 1988, the company was
again renamed Racal Telecom, and on 26 October 1988, Racal Electronics floated 20% of the
company. The flotation valued Racal Telecom at GB£1.7 billion.[16] On 16 September 1991,
Racal Telecom was demerged from Racal Electronics as Vodafone Group.[17]

In July 1996, Vodafone acquired the two thirds of Talkland it did not already own for
£30.6 million.[18] On 19 November 1996, in a defensive move, Vodafone purchased Peoples
Phone for £77 million, a 181 store chain whose customers were overwhelmingly using
Vodafone’s network.[19] In a similar move the company acquired the 80% of Astec
Communications that it did not own, a service provider with 21 stores.[20]

In 1997, Vodafone introduced its Speechmark logo, composed of a quotation mark in a circle,
with the O’s in the Vodafone logotype representing opening and closing quotation marks and
suggesting conversation.

On 29 June 1999, Vodafone completed its purchase of AirTouch Communications, Inc. and
changed its name to Vodafone Airtouch plc. The merged company commenced trading on 30
June 1999.[21] In order to gain anti-trust approval for the merger, Vodafone sold its 17.2% stake
in E-Plus Mobilfunk.[22] The acquisition gave Vodafone a 35% share of Mannesmann, owner of
the largest German mobile network.

On 21 September 1999, Vodafone agreed to merge its U.S. wireless assets with those of Bell
Atlantic Corp to form Verizon Wireless.[23] The merger was completed on 4 April 2000.
In November 1999, Vodafone made an unsolicited bid for Mannesmann, which was rejected.
Vodafone’s interest in Mannesmann had been increased by the latter purchase of Orange, the


mobile operator.[24] Chris Gent would later say Mannesmann’s move into the UK broke a
“gentleman’s agreement” not to compete in each other’s home territory.[25] The hostile takeover
provoked strong protest in Germany, and a “titanic struggle” which saw Mannesmann resist


Vodafone’s efforts. However, on 3 February 2000, the Mannesmann board agreed to an increased
offer of £112bn, then the largest corporate merger ever.[25] The EU approved the merger in April
2000. The conglomerate was subsequently broken up and all manufacturing related operations
sold off.

2211sstt cceennttuurryy

The headquarters of Vodafone Romania in Bucharest.
On 28 July 2000, the Company reverted to its former name, Vodafone Group plc. In
April 2001, the first 3G voice call was made on Vodafone United Kingdom’s 3G

In 2001, the Company acquired Eircell, the largest wireless communications
company in the Republic of Ireland, from eircom. Eircell was subsequently rebranded as
Vodafone Ireland. Vodafone then went on to acquire Japan’s third-largest mobile operator J-
Phone, which had introduced camera phones first in Japan.

On 17 December 2001, Vodafone introduced the concept of “Partner Networks”, by signing
TDC Mobil of Denmark. The new concept involved the introduction of Vodafone international
services to the local market, without the need of investment by Vodafone. The concept would be
used to extend the Vodafone brand and services into markets where it does not have stakes in
local operators. Vodafone services would be marketed under the dual-brand scheme, where the
Vodafone brand is added at the end of the local brand. (i.e., TDC Mobil-Vodafone etc.)
In 2007, Vodafone entered into a title sponsorship deal with the McLaren Formula One team,
which has since traded as Vodafone McLaren Mercedes.

In May 2011, Vodafone Group Plc bought the rest of the shares of Vodafone Essar from Essar
Group Ltd with value of $5 billion and became a solely owned of Vodafone Essar.[26]


AAffrriiccaa aanndd tthhee MMiiddddllee EEaasstt

In November 1998,
Vodafone Egypt
network went live under
the name ClickGSM.
On 8 November 2006,
the Company announced
a deal with Telecom
Egypt, resulting in
further co-operation in
the Egyptian market,
and increasing its stake
in Vodafone Egypt. After the deal, Vodafone Egypt was 55% owned by the group, while the
remaining 45% was owned by Telecom Egypt.

Networks in the Middle East and Africa

Majority-owned Minority-owned

Partner networks

DR Congo1 Egypt Kenya


Ghana Lesotho1 Bahrain

Mozambique1 Qatar2 Libya

Tanzania1 South Africa1 UAE
1Majority stakes held through majority-owned Vodacom Group

2Effective ownership is not majority, but full control exercised by the group.


On 28 January 2011, Vodafone complied with Egyptian government instructions to suspend
Internet service “in selected areas” during a period of anti-Mubarak protests. The company
issued a statement that “Under Egyptian legislation, the authorities have the right to issue such an
order and we are obliged to comply with it.”[27][28]

Vodafone also received public and media criticism for allowing the authorities to send mass pro-
government messages via SMS over their network during the protests. One such message
requested that “honest and loyal men” should “confront the traitors and criminals”. Vodafone
later issued a statement asserting that they had no choice but to allow the messages to be
broadcast, and that they had complained to the Egyptian authorities about the practice.[29]


On 18 September 2002, Vodafone signed a Partner Network Agreement with MTC group of
Kuwait. The agreement involved the rebranding of MTC to MTC-Vodafone. On 29 December
2003, Vodafone signed another Partner Network Agreement with Kuwait’s MTC group. The
second agreement involved co-operation in Bahrain and the branding of the network as MTC-

South Africa (Vodacom)
On 3 November 2004, the Company announced that its South African affiliate Vodacom had
agreed to introduce Vodafone’s international services, such as Vodafone live! and partner
agreements, to its local market.

In November 2005, Vodafone announced that it was in exclusive talks to buy a 15% stake of
VenFin in Vodacom Group, reaching agreement the following day. Vodafone and Telkom then
had a 50% stake each in Vodacom. Vodafone now owns 65% of Vodacom after purchasing a
15% stake from Telkom.[30]

On 9 October 2008, the company offered to acquire an additional 15 per cent stake in Vodacom
group from Telkom. The finalised details of the agreement were announced on 6 November
2008. The agreement called for Telkom to sell 15 per cent of its 50 per cent stake in Vodacom to
the group, and demerge the other 35 per cent to its shareholder. Meanwhile, Vodafone has agreed
to make Vodacom its exclusive sub-Saharan Africa investment vehicle, as well as continuing to
maintain the visibility of the Vodacom brand. The transaction is closed in May/June 2009.
On 18 May 2009, Vodacom entered the JSE Limited stock exchange in South Africa after
Vodafone increased its stake by 15% to 65% to take a majority holding, despite disputes by local
trade unions.

In December 2007, a Vodafone Group-led consortium was awarded the second mobile phone
licence in Qatar under the name “Vodafone Qatar”. Vodafone Qatar is located at QSTP

On 3 July 2008, Vodafone agreed to acquire a 70% stake in Ghana Telecom for $900 million.
The acquisition was consummated on 17 August 2008. The same group-led consortium won the
second fixed-line licence in Qatar on 15 September 2008.


On 15 April 2009, Ghana Telecom, along with its mobile subsidiary onetouch, was rebranded as
Vodafone Ghana.

On 28 January 2009, the group announced a partner network agreement with Du, the second-
largest operator of the United Arab Emirates. The agreement involved co-operation on
international clients, handset procurement, mobile broadband etc.

On 24 February 2010, the group signed a partner network agreement with the second-largest
operator in Libya, al Madar.

TThhee AAmmeerriiccaass

For more information, see Verizon Wireless.

Networks in the Americas


Partner networks

USA1 Anguilla2
Antigua &

Aruba2 Barbados2

Bermuda2 Bonaire2 Canada3 Cayman Islands2

Chile4 Curaçao2 Dominica2
French West


Grenada2 Guyana2 Haiti2 Honduras2

Jamaica2 Panama2
St. Kitts &

St. Lucia2

St. Vincent & the

Trinidad &

Turk & Caicos2

1 – Verizon Wireless
2 – Digicel (Partner)

3 – America Movil (Partner in some countries)
4 – Entel PCS (Partner)

In the United States, Vodafone owns 45% of Verizon Wireless, the country’s largest mobile
carrier after their merger with Alltel. The percentage of the customer base, and revenues of
Verizon Wireless that Vodafone consolidates is slightly lower, since some Verizon Wireless
subsidiaries have minority investors. (Hence the exact percentages that Vodafone and Verizon
report vary from period to period: in June 2006 Vodafone reported that Verizon Wireless owned
98.6% of its customers at that date.) Before this joint venture was formed, Vodafone merged
with AirTouch Communications of the U.S. in June 1999, and changed its name to Vodafone


Airtouch plc. In September 1999, Vodafone Airtouch announced a $70-billion joint venture with
Bell Atlantic Corp. Verizon Wireless was composed of Bell Atlantic’s and Vodafone AirTouch’s
U.S. wireless assets, and began operations on 4 April 2000. However, Verizon Communications
– the name Bell Atlantic took upon its June 30, 2000 buyout of GTE – owns a majority of
Verizon Wireless, and Vodafone’s branding is not used, nor is the CDMA network compatible
with GSM phones. This relationship has been quite profitable for Vodafone, but there have
historically been three problems with it. The first is the above-mentioned incompatibility with
the GSM 900/1800 MHz standard used by Vodafone’s other networks, and the consequent
difficulty of offering roaming between Vodafone’s U.S. and other networks. The other two stem
from the fact that Vodafone does not have management control over Verizon Wireless. Vodafone
is thus unable to use the Vodafone brand for its U.S. operations, and (perhaps more importantly)
has no control of dividend policy at Verizon Wireless, and is therefore entirely at the mercy of
Verizon management with respect to cash flow from Verizon Wireless.

Perhaps as a consequence of these reasons, Vodafone made a bid for the entirety of AT&T
Wireless when that company was for sale in 2004. Had this bid been successful, Vodafone would
presumably have sold its stake in Verizon Wireless, and then rebranded the resultant business as
Vodafone. However, Cingular Wireless, at the time a joint venture of SBC Communications and
BellSouth (both now part of AT&T), ultimately outbid Vodafone and took control of AT&T
Wireless (the combined wireless carrier is now AT&T Mobility), and Vodafone’s relationship
with Verizon has continued.

Early in 2006, Verizon re-iterated their desire to buy out the remaining 45% of stock of Verizon
Wireless from Vodafone Group. Vodafone has also repeatedly indicated that it would be willing
to buy out Verizon’s stake.

Verizon has announced that its 4G data network will be LTE, which is considered part of the
GSM path and not the CDMA2000 path Verizon has been using; it has been suggested[who?] this
is to appease Vodafone, which uses GSM on its own networks.

On 11 May 2008, Vodafone sealed a trade agreement with the Chilean Entel PCS Chile, in which
Entel PCS has access to the equipment and international services of Vodafone, and Vodafone
will be one of the trademarks of Entel for the wireless business. This step will give the Vodafone
brand access to a market of over 15 million people, currently divided among three companies:
Telefonica Movistar, Claro, and Entel PCS.


Networks in Asia-Pacific

Majority-owned Minority-owned Partner networks
Australia China mainland Afghanistan Armenia

India Fiji Azerbaijan Hong Kong

New Zealand Japan Malaysia

Samoa Singapore


Sri Lanka Taiwan

Thailand Turkmenistan


In July 1993, BellSouth New Zealand’s network went live, and October 1993 Vodafone
Australia’s network also went live. This was followed in July 1994 by Vodafone Fiji’s network
going live.

In November 1998, Vodafone purchased BellSouth New Zealand, which later became Vodafone
New Zealand. In 1999, J-Phone launched the J-sky mobile internet service in response to
DoCoMo’s i-Mode service. In December 2002 J-Phone’s 3G network went live.
On 1 October 2003, J-Phone became ‘Vodafone’, and J-Phone’s mobile internet service J-Sky
became Vodafone Live!. On 3 November 2003, Singapore became a part of the community as
M1 was signed as partner network.

In December 2004, Vodafone Australia agreed to deploy high-speed MPLS backbone network
built by Lucent Worldwide Services using Juniper hardware.[31]

Then in April 2005, SmarTone changed the name of its brand to ‘SmarTone-Vodafone’, after
both companies signed a Partner Network Agreement. In August 2005, Vodafone launched 3G
technology in New Zealand, and in October 2005, it began launching 3G technology in
Australia. On 28 October 2005, the Company announced the acquisition of a 10 per cent stake in
India’s Bharti Televentures, which operates the largest mobile phone network in India under the
brand name AirTel. On 22 December 2005, the Company announced the completion of the
acquisition of the 10% stake in Bharti Televentures of India.

The Vodafone building on Fanshawe Street, corner Halsey
street, looking northeast, Auckland City, New Zealand.
In January 2006, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Sri Lanka were
added to the Vodafone footprint as Vodafone Group signed a
partner network agreement with Telekom Malaysia. On


March 2006, Vodafone announced an agreement to sell all
its interest in Vodafone Japan to SoftBank for £8.9 billion,
of which £6.8 billion will be received in cash on closing of
deal. Vodafone Japan later changed its name to SoftBank
Mobile. On 9 October 2006, Vodafone New Zealand bought
New Zealand’s 3rd largest internet service provider, iHug, and on 1 November 2006, Vodafone
Australia signed the Australian Football League (AFL)’s biggest individual club sponsorship deal
with the Brisbane Lions for seasons 2007, 2008 and 2009.

On 6 February 2007, along with the partnership with Digicel Caribbean (see below), Samoa was
added as a Partner Market. Then on 11 February 2007, the Company agreed to acquire a
controlling interest of 67% in Hutchison Essar Limited for US$11.1 billion. At the same time, it


agreed to sell back 5.6% of its AirTel stake back to the Mittals. Vodafone would retain a 4.4%
stake in AirTel. On 21 September 2007, Hutch was rebranded to Vodafone in India.

On 6 February 2007, Vodafone Group signed a three-year partnership agreement with Digicel
Group. The agreement, which includes Digicel’s sister operation in Samoa, will result to the
offering of new roaming capabilities. The two groups will also become preferred roaming
partners of each other. Along with Digicel’s markets, the Vodafone brand is now present in 81
countries, regions, and territories. What is interesting to note, is that as well as being partners,
Digicel and Vodafone are also rival operators in Fiji, where Digicel Fiji recently[when?] launched,
and Vodafone owns a minority (49%) stake in Vodafone Fiji.

On 10 February 2008, Vodafone announced the launching of M-Paisa mobile money transfer
service on Roshan’s (Afghanistan’s largest GSM operator) network: Afghanistan was added to
the Vodafone footprint.

On 5 September 2008, Vodafone purchased Australia’s largest bricks and mortar mobile phone
retailer Crazy John’s adding 115 retail stores to its local operations.[32]

On 9 February 2009, Vodafone Australia announced a merger with 3/Hutchison via a joint
venture company VHA Pty Ltd, which would offer products under the Vodafone brand. dtac in
Thailand is signed as a partner network of the Group on 25 March 2009.

On 19 June 2009, Vodafone-Hutchison Australia (VHA) announced the end of its outsourcing of
retail operations. VHA committed to buying back and managing its entire retail operation,
including 208 Vodafone-branded retail outlets Australia-wide. This project was slated to be
completed by 1 September 2009.

On 31 August 2009, VHA enabled an extended 900 MHz 3G UMTS network which functions
outside their 2100mhz 3G network, boosting Vodafone’s 3G population coverage from around
8% to around 94% on dual-band 900/2100mhz 3G UMTS devices.

Nar Mobile in Azerbaijan was signed as a Partner Network on 22 July 2009, while Chunghwa
Telecom of Taiwan was signed on 12 November 2009.


Networks in Europe

Majority-owned Minority-owned Partner networks
Albania France Austria Belgium

Czech Republic Bulgaria Channel Islands

Germany Croatia Cyprus

Greece Denmark Estonia


Hungary Finland Faroe Islands

Ireland Iceland Latvia

Italy Lithuania Luxembourg

Malta Rep. of Macedonia Norway

Netherlands Russia Serbia

North Cyprus[33] Slovenia Sweden

Portugal Switzerland Ukraine





In February 2002, Radiolinja of Finland joined as a Partner Network. Radiolinja later changed its
named to Elisa. Later that year, the Company rebranded Japan’s J-sky mobile internet service as
Vodafone live!, and on 3 December 2002, the Vodafone brand was introduced in the Estonian
market following the signing of a Partner Network Agreement with Radiolinja (Eesti). Radiolinja
(Eesti) later changed its name to Elisa.

On 7 January 2003, the Company signed a group-wide Partner agreement with mobilkom
Austria. As a result, Austria, Croatia, and Slovenia were added to the community. In April 2003,
Og Vodafone was introduced in the Icelandic market, and in May 2003, Omnitel (Omnitel
Pronto-Italia) was rebranded Vodafone Italy. On 21 July 2003, Lithuania was added to the
community, with the signing of a Partner Network agreement with Bitė.

In February 2004, Vodafone signed a Partner Network Agreement with Luxembourg’s LuxGSM,
and a Partner Network Agreement with Cyta of Cyprus. Cyta agreed to rename its mobile phone
operations to Cytamobile-Vodafone. In April 2004, the Company purchased Singlepoint airtime
provider from John Caudwell (Caudwell Group), and approx 1.5 million customers onto its base
for £405million, adding sites in Stoke on Trent (England), to existing sites in Newbury (HQ),
Birmingham, Warrington and Banbury. In November 2004, Vodafone introduced 3G services
into Europe.

In June 2005, the Company increased its participation in Romania’s Connex to 99%, and also
bought the Czech mobile operator Oskar. On 1 July 2005, Oskar of the Czech Republic was
rebranded as Oskar-Vodafone. Later that year, on 17 October 2005, Vodafone Portugal launched
a revised logo, using new text designed by Dalton Maag, and a 3D version of the Speechmark
logo, but still retaining a red background and white writing (or vice versa). Also, various


operating companies started to drop the use of the SIM card pattern in the company logo. (The
rebranding of Oskar-Vodafone and Connex-Vodafone also does not use the SIM card pattern.) A
custom typeface by Dalton Maag (based on their font family InterFace) formed part of the new

On 28 October 2005, Connex in Romania was rebranded as Connex-Vodafone, and on 31
October 2005, the Company reached an agreement to sell Vodafone Sweden to Telenor for
approximately €1 billion. After the sale, Vodafone Sweden became a Partner Network. In
December 2005, Vodafone won an auction to buy Turkey’s second-largest mobile phone
company, Telsim, for US$4.5 billion.[34] In December 2005, Vodafone Spain became the second
member of the Group to adopt the revised logo: it was phased in over the following six months in
other countries.

In 2006, the Company rebranded its Stoke-on-Trent site as Stoke Premier Centre, a centre of
expertise for the company dealing with Customer Care for its higher value customers, technical
support, sales and credit control. All cancellations and upgrades started to be dealt with by this
call centre. On 5 January 2006, Vodafone announced the completion of the sale of Vodafone
Sweden to Telenor. On February 2006, the Company closed its Birmingham Call Centre. On 1
February 2006, Oskar Vodafone became Vodafone Czech Republic, adopting the revised logo,
and on 22 February 2006, the Company announced that it was extending its footprint to Bulgaria
with the signing of Partner Network Agreement with Mobiltel, which is part of mobilkom
Austria group.

Vodafone HQ in Ireland at Central Park,
Leopardstown Rd.
In April 2006, the Company announced that it
had signed an extension to its Partner Network
Agreement with BITE Group, enabling its
Latvian subsidiary “BITE Latvija” to become the
latest member of Vodafone’s global partner
community. Also in April 2006, Vodafone
Sweden changed its name to Telenor Sverige
AB, and Connex-Vodafone became Vodafone
Romania, also adopting the new logo. On 30
May 2006, Vodafone announced the then biggest
loss in British corporate history (£14.9 billion),
and plans to cut 400 jobs; it reported one-off
costs of £23.5 billion due to the revaluation of its
Mannesmann subsidiary. On 24 July 2006, the respected head of Vodafone Europe, Bill Morrow,
quit unexpectedly,[35] and on 25 August 2006, the Company announced the sale of its 25% stake
in Belgium’s Proximus for €2 billion. After the deal, Proximus was still part of the community as
a Partner Network. On 5 October 2006, Vodafone announced the first single brand partnership
with Og Vodafone which would operate under the name Vodafone Iceland, and on 19 December
2006, the Company announced the sale of its 25% stake in Switzerland’s Swisscom for
CHF4.25 billion (£1.8 billion)., After the deal, Swisscom would still be part of the community as
a Partner Network. Finally in December 2006, the Company completed the acquisition of


Aspective, an enterprise applications systems integrator in the UK, signalling Vodafone’s intent
to grow a significant presence and revenues in the information and communication technologies
(ICT) marketplace.

Vodafone Lion of Munich’s Löwenparade
Early in January 2007, Telsim in Turkey adopted
Vodafone dual branding as Telsim Vodafone,
and on 1 April 2007, Telsim Vodafone Turkey
dropped its original brand and became Vodafone
Turkey. In addition, Vodafone Turkey also gives
service in Northern Cyprus. On 1 May 2007,
Vodafone added Jersey and Guernsey to the
community, as Airtel was signed as Partner
Network in both crown dependencies. In June
2007, the Vodafone live! mobile internet portal
in the UK was relaunched. Front page was now
charged for, and previously “bundled” data
allowance was removed from existing contract
terms.[36] All users were given access to the “full”
web rather than a ‘Walled Garden’, and Vodafone
became the first mobile network to focus an
entire media campaign on its newly launched
mobile internet portal in the UK.[37] On 1 August
2007, Vodafone Portugal launched Vodafone
Messenger, a service with Windows Live
Messenger and Yahoo! Messenger. At the end of
2007, Vodafone Germany was ranked 6th in
Europe by subscriber numbers, whilst its Italian
operation was listed as 10th. Vodafone UK was ranked 13th, whilst Spain was listed in 16th

On 17 April 2008, Vodafone extended its footprint to Serbia as Vip mobile was added to the
community as a Partner Network, and on 20 May 2008, the Company added VIP Operator as a
Partner Network, thereby extending the global footprint to the Republic of Macedonia. In May
2008, Kall of the Faroe Islands rebranded as Vodafone Faroe Islands.

On 30 October 2008, the company announced a strategic, non-equity partnership with Mobile
TeleSystems (MTS) group of Russia. The agreement adds Russia, Armenia, Turkmenistan,
Ukraine, and Uzbekistan to the group footprint.[39]

On 20 March 2009, it was announced that the group’s Luxembourg partner has been changed to
Tango: the agreement with LuxGSM was not renewed in favour of Tango, the Luxembourg unit
of another partner network, Belgacom of Belgium.[40]

VVooddaaffoonnee GGlloobbaall EEnntteerrpprriissee

Vodafone Global Enterprise is a division established by Vodafone in 2007 to service
multinational corporate clients. Vodafone Global Enterprise has a presence in over 65 countries,


with the number planned to grow in the future. Devices and services available in any Vodafone
operating country are available to Vodafone Global Enterprise customers in the same country.
Vodafone Global Enterprise is headquartered in Newbury, United Kingdom and is currently led
by Nick Jeffery.

PPrroodduuccttss aanndd sseerrvviicceess

A map showing Vodafone Global Enterprise’s

Products promoted by the Group include
Vodafone live!, Vodafone Mobile Connect USB
Modem, Vodafone Connect to Friends, Vodafone
Passport, Vodafone Freedom Packs, Vodafone at
Home, Vodafone 710 and Amobee Media

In October 2009, it launched Vodafone 360, a new internet service for the mobile, PC and Mac.
On 15 February 2010 Vodafone launched world’s cheapest mobile phone known as Vodafone
150, will sell for below $15 (£10) and is aimed at the developing world. It will initially be
launched in India, Turkey and eight African countries including Lesotho, Kenya and Ghana.[41]

Vodafone also runs an AppStore for Android, called AppSelect.[42]

MMoobbiillee MMoonneeyy TTrraannssffeerr SSeerrvviiccee

In March 2007, Safaricom, which is part owned by Vodafone and the leading mobile
communication provider in Kenya, launched a mobile payment solution developed by
Vodafone.[43] M-PESA is aimed at mobile customers who do not have a bank account, typically
because they do not have access to a bank or their income is insufficient to justify a bank
account. The M-PESA system allows customers to deposit and withdraw cash via local agents,
and transfer money to other mobile phone users via SMS.

By February 2008, the M-PESA money transfer system in Kenya had gained 1.6 million
customers[44] and Vodafone announced that it was to extend the service to Afghanistan.[45] The
service here was launched on the Roshan network under the brand M-Paisa with a different focus
to the Kenyan service. M-Paisa was targeted as a vehicle for microfinance institutions’ (MFI)
loan disbursements and repayments, alongside business to business applications such as salary
disbursement. The service has now been transitioned to be operationally run by IBM Global
Services on behalf of Vodafone, the initial 3 markets (Kenya, Tanzania & Afghanistan) are
hosted by Rackspace.

The Afghanistan launch was followed in April 2008 by the announcement of further a further
launch of M-PESA in Tanzania. As an operator of money transmission services, Vodafone
became subject to anti-money laundering regulation and in July 2008, it was revealed that it had
deployed a sanctions and PEP (Politically Exposed Persons) screening solution from Datanomic
for weekly screening of 2.5 million customers in Tanzania.[46] The screening service was to be


rolled out to Afghanistan, Kenya, India and Datanomic disclosed that the solution might be used
to screen all of Vodafone’s 300 million customers globally.

mmHHeeaalltthh SSoolluuttiioonnss

In November 2009, Vittorio Colao announced[47] that Vodafone set-up a new business unit that
looks after the emerging mHealth market. mHealth is defined as the application of mobile
communications and network technologies to healthcare. Vodafone’s main objectives for
implementing mHealth projects are to optimise the efficiencies of health organisations’ internal
processes and to enhance the delivery and accessibility of healthcare.

One of its early success stories is with the Novartis-led “SMS for Life” project in Tanzania, for
which Vodafone developed and deployed a text-message based system that enables all of the
country’s 4,600 public health facilities to report their levels of anti-malaria medications so that
stock level data can be viewed centrally in real-time, enabling timely re-supply of stock. During
the SMS for Life pilot, which covered 129 health facilities over six months, stock-outs dropped
from 26% to 0.8%, saving thousands of lives.[48]

Vodafone is also working together with Baxter International, having developed a patient-
reported treatment outcome system for users of Baxter’s intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG)
treatments. The aim of the system is to move more patients from hospital to home to receive their
ongoing infusions.

Other examples of Vodafone initiatives in mHealth date back before the creation of the mHealth
unit. A continued partnership with the Spanish Red Cross to market and enable a localisation
service for Alzheimer patients began in 2005 and serves more than 1,000 patients and carers per
year.[49] Since 2006, Vodafone enables doctors in remote practices on the Greek islands to share
patient data with specialists in Athens and other central hospitals, so that they can receive
diagnostic and therapy consultations in real-time.[50]

Vodafone has also been active in mHealth from a philanthropic perspective. The Vodafone
Group Foundation is a founder member of the mHealth Alliance,[51] supporting the adoption of
mHealth through policy research and advocacy and the development of interoperable and
sustainable mHealth solutions.

CCoorrppoorraattee aaffffaaiirrss


In a period just short of twenty years from its initial public offering, the Company had had just
three Chief Executives. The fourth CEO, Vittorio Colao, stepped up from Deputy Chief
Executive in July 2008. Each of his predecessors made a personal contribution to the
development of the Company.

Sir Gerald Whent, at that time an Executive with Racal Electronics plc, was responsible for the
bid for a UK Cellular Network licence. The Mobile Telecoms division was de-merged, and was


floated on the London Stock Exchange in October 1988 and Sir Gerald became Chief Executive
of Racal Telecom plc. Over the next few years the company grew to become the UK’s Market
Leader, changing its name to Vodafone Group plc in the process.

Sir Christopher Gent took over as Chief Executive in January 1997, after Sir Gerald’s retirement.
Sir Christopher was responsible for transforming Vodafone from a small UK operator into the
global behemoth that it is today, through the merger with the American AirTouch and the
takeover of Germany’s Mannesmann, the Goldman Sachs chief advisor on the deal was Scott

Arun Sarin was the driving force behind the Company’s move into emerging markets such as
Asia and Africa, through the purchases such as that of Turkish operator Telsim, and a majority
stake in Hutchison Essar in India. Faced with increased competition, and penetration rates above
100% in the more mature European markets, he saw it necessary to diversify from being a
mobile-only business into a company which provided all telecommunications services. This has
seen Vodafone launch DSL and other fixed-line services in markets such as Germany and the

Chief Executive Tenure

Sir Gerald Whent October 1988 – December 1996

Sir Christopher Gent January 1997 – July 2003

Arun Sarin July 2003 – July 2008

Vittorio Colao July 2008 – present

FFiinnaanncciiaall rreessuullttss

Vodafone reports its results in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards

Vodafone has some large minority stakes, which are not included in its consolidated turnover. In
order to provide additional information on the overall scale and growth trends of its business, it
publishes “proportionate turnover” figures, and these are included in the tables below. For
example, if a business in which it owns a 45% stake has turnover of £10 billion, that equals
£4.5 billion of proportionate turnover for Vodafone. Proportionate turnover is not an official
accounting measure, and Vodafone’s proportionate turnover should be compared with other
companies’ statutory turnover.

Vodafone also produces proportionate customer number figures on a similar basis, e.g. if an
operator in which it has a 30% stake has 10 million customers that equals 3 million proportionate
Vodafone customers. This is a common practice in the mobile telecommunications industry.

Year ended 31


Profit before
tax £m

Profit for the
year £m

Basic eps

customers (m)

2010 44,472 8,674 8,618 16.44 341.1

2009 41,017 4,189 3,080 5.81 302.6


2008 35,478 9,001 6,756 12.56 260

2007 31,104 (2,383) (5,297) (8.94) 206.4

2006* 29,350 (14,835) (21,821) (35.01) 170.6

2005 34,073 7,951 6,518 9.68 154.8

2004 36,492 9,013 6,112 8.70 133.4
*Losses for year to 31 March 2006 reflect write downs of assets, principally in relation to the Mannesmann
acquisition. Proportionate turnover includes £7,100 million from discontinued operations.


UK Uncut protestors outside a Vodafone shop in Liverpool.
In September 2010, an investigation by Private Eye
magazine revealed certain details of Vodafone’s tax
avoidance activities. It was reported that Vodafone routed
the acquisition of Mannesmann through a Luxembourg
subsidiary, set up to avoid paying tax on the deal, and
continued to place its profits in Luxembourg. Following a
long legal struggle with HMRC (during which a senior
HMRC official, John Connors, switched sides to become
head of tax at Vodafone), it was eventually agreed that
Vodafone would pay £1.25bn related to the acquisition.
Based on Vodafone’s accounts, experts have estimated the
potential tax bill written off as a result of the negotiations
was over £6bn.[52]

The news of this legal tax avoidance sparked angry protests,
beginning in October 2010 and ongoing as of April 2011, outside Vodafone shops across the
UK, organised under the banner of UK Uncut. The first protests caused the simultaneous closure
of over a dozen stores, including the flagship Oxford St. branch.[52]

Vodafone was also assessed a $2.5 billion tax over its acquisition of Hutchison Whampoa’s
Indian assets in 2007, a demand that it contests.In recent event dated 20 January 2012, Indian
highest court ruled that Vodafone is not liable for taxes and penalties of up to $4.4bn

Vodafone was implicated in the violent suppression of pro-democracy protests in Egypt’s 2011
demonstrations. On 27 January, Vodafone, responsible for much of Egypt’s telecommunication
infrastructure, shut off all voice and data services for Egyptian citizens and businesses at the
request of the Egyptian Government under Hosni Mubarak.[55] The Daily Telegraph of the UK
reported, “The Egyptian government’s action is unprecedented in the history of the internet.”[56]

U.S.-based Internet intelligence firm Renesys stated, “in an action unprecedented in Internet
history, the Egyptian government appears to have ordered service providers to shut down all
international connections to the Internet.”[57] Vodafone Group CEO Vittorio Colao said the
company was obliged by law to comply with the instructions of the Egyptian government.[58] In
the company’s annual general meeting, on 26 June, the campaign groups Access and


FairPensions asked Vodafone to endorse a plan to prevent facing similar demands in the


1. a b c d e f “Annual Report 2010”. Vodafone Group Plc. Retrieved 22 April 2011.
2. “Vodafone moves world HQ to London”. BBC News (BBC). 24 June 2009.

Retrieved 10 January 2011.
3. Krishna, R. Jai; Mukherjee, Arpan (30 July 2010). “Vodafone Says No Tax Due

in India, Mulls IPO for Local Unit”. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 23 August 2010.
4. “News Release”. Vodafone Group Plc. Retrieved 17 November 2010.
5. “Vodafone total customer as of September 2011”. Vodafone.
6. “About us”. Vodafone Group Plc. Retrieved 17 November 2010.
7. “Facts-at-a-Glance”. Verizon Wireless. Retrieved 23 August 2010.
8. Thomson, Amy (30 June 2010). “Verizon Wireless Said to Start Offering IPhone

in January”. Bloomberg. Retrieved 6 September 2010.
9. UK – About Vodafone UK – About Us – History. (1

January 1985). Retrieved on 8 July 2011.
10. “FTSE All-Share Index Ranking”. Retrieved 26 December

11. Richard Wilson (19 February 2009). “Obituary: Sir Ernest Harrison”. Retrieved 29 June 2010.
12. “A Profile Of World Leader Vodafone”. 2 November 2006. Retrieved 2 April

13. a b “Vodafone Group Public Ltd Co”. Retrieved 2 April 2007.
14. “The rapid rise of Vodafone”. BBC News. 4 February 2000. Retrieved 27 May

15. Eadie, Alison (30 December 1986). “Racal pays £110 million to own Vodafone”.

The Times (Times Newspapers).
16. “Shares in Racal Telecom”. The Guardian (Guardian Newspapers). 27 October

17. Wise, Deborah (16 September 1991). “Vodafone’s solo debut could boost share

price”. The Guardian (Guardian Newspapers).
18. Cane, Alan (10 July 1996). “Companies and Finance: UK: Vodafone acquires

Talkland in Pounds 60m deal”. Financial Times: p. 22.
19. Reguly, Eric (20 November 1996). “Vodafone pockets Peoples Phone”. The

Times (Times Newspapers).
20. “News Digest: Vodafone snaps up Astec”. Investors Chronicle: p. 55. 7 February

21. Hasell, Nick (30 June 1999). “Scramble for Vodafone as blue chips retreat”. The

Times (Times Newspapers).
22. Krause, Reinhardt (8 June 1999). “Vodafone’s Quest Begins With AirTouch

Alliance”. Investor’s Business Daily. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007.
Retrieved 4 April 2007.

23. ^ “Making airwaves”. Financial Times. 22 September 1999.


24. “Mannesmann rejects Vodafone bid”. BBC News (BBC). 14 November 1999.
Retrieved 6 April 2007.

25. a b “Vodafone seals Mannesmann merger”. BBC News (BBC). 3 February 2000.
Retrieved 6 April 2007.

26. Smith, George. (1 July 2011) Vodafone, Essar Said to Split $785 million Tax Bill
in India. Bloomberg. Retrieved on 8 July 2011.

27. Webster, Stephen C.. (28 January 2011) Vodafone confirms role in Egypt’s
cellular, Internet blackout. Retrieved on 8 July 2011.

28. “Vodafone CEO Explains Egypt Phone Cutoff”. The Wall Street Journal. 28
January 2011.

29. “Vodafone”. Washington Post.[dead link]

30. Vodacom focuses on data as profit drops after debut Reuters, 19 May 2009
31. Vodafone Australia 3G Core Data Network,, 2 December 2004.

Retrieved 08/07/2008.
32. Guan, Lilia. (6 September 2008) Vodafone buys Crazy John’s.

Retrieved on 8 July 2011.
33. KKTC Telsim. KKTC Telsim. Retrieved on 8 July 2011.
34. Vodafone buys Turkish mobile firm BBC News, December 2005
35. “Bill Morrow, Vodafone’s Turnaround Guru, Walks Away”,Cellular-News24

July 2006. Retrieved on 9 November 2007
36. Money Saving Expert. Retrieved on 8 July

37. “Vodafone Live launches cheaper mobile Internet portal in the UK” (Accessed

38. European Mobile Market – Europe’s Top 50 Mobile Network Operators by

Subscribers. Retrieved on 8 July 2011.
39. “MTS and Vodafone”. Marketwatch. 30 October 2008. Retrieved 9 November

40. Vodafone signs partner market agreement with Tango. (23 March

2009). Retrieved on 8 July 2011.
41. “Vodafone launch ‘world’s cheapest phone'” (stm). BBC. Retrieved 1 October


43. Safaricom and Vodafone launch M-PESA, a new mobile payment service
44. M-PESA Reaches 1.6 Million Customers in 12 Months
45. Vodafone and Roshan Launch First Mobile Money Transfer Service in

46. Vodafone rolls out Datanomic screening software for money transfer service. (15 July 2008). Retrieved on 8 July 2011.
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52. a b “BRITAIN’S £6BN VODAFONE BILL”. Private Eye. Retrieved 11
November 2010.

53. “Vodafone not liable for up to $4.4bn of India penalties”. BBC News. 20 January
2012. Retrieved 20 January 2012.

54. “Vodafone given $2.5bn Indian tax bill deadline”. BBC News. 22 October 2010.
Retrieved 31 March 2011.

55. “Egypt Internet users report major network disruptions”. Reuters. 27 January

56. Williams, Christopher (28 January 2011). “How Egypt shut down the internet”.
The Daily Telegraph (London).

57. Egypt Leaves the Internet. Retrieved on 8 July 2011.
58. “Egypt’s Web, Mobile Communications Severed”. The Wall Street Journal. 28

January 2011.
59. Financial Times, 25 July 2011, Andrew Parker, “Vodafone faces pressure over

Egypt protests”,

60. New Statement, 28 July 2011, Tess Riley, “Shedding light on Vodafone’s digital

See a sample reprint in PDF format. Order a reprint of this article now


India’s Supreme Court backed Vodafone Group PLC’s appeal against a $2.2 billion tax bill on its purchase of a
majority stake in India’s Hutchison Essar Ltd. Amol Sharma and Lilly Vitorovich explain why this might be good news
for India.


NEW DELHI—India’s Supreme Court on Friday ruled that Vodafone Group PLC isn’t liable to pay taxes on the
deal it struck to enter India in 2007, delivering a major victory to the British telecommunications giant and
providing some encouragement to foreign companies that are concerned about the country’s investment climate.

The court’s decision means that Vodafone won’t have to pay more than $2 billion in taxes on its $11.2 billion
acquisition of a controlling stake in an Indian cellphone company from Hong Kong’s Hutchison Whampoa Ltd.
Indian authorities don’t have jurisdiction to tax the deal because it was structured as a transaction between two
foreign entities, a three-judge panel of the court said.

The verdict, which overturns a ruling by a lower court in Mumbai, comes after a four-year legal fight by
Vodafone in India. The tax case became a symbol for many foreign investors of the uncertainty of doing business
in India, the unpredictability of regulators and the risks foreign firms face if they decide to make big bets on
Indian growth.

In a statement, Vodafone Chief Executive Vittorio Colao said:
“We are a committed long-term investor in India and we have
made clear all along that we have faith in the Indian judicial
system. We welcome the Supreme Court’s decision, which
underpins our confidence in India. We will continue to grow our

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Vodafone Overturns Tax Bill in India

Vodafone Overturns Tax Bill in India –…

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Associated Press

India’s Supreme Court ruled Vodafone doesn’t have to
pay more than $2 billion in taxes for its acquisition of a
controlling stake in an Indian cellphone company.
Above, a man leaves a Vodafone store in Mumbai on


Heard on the Street: Vodafone’s Satisfying
Indian Takeaway

What Next for Vodafone in India?

The Man Who Ruled in Vodafone’s Favor

Will Government Dilute the Vodafone

Indian business.”

The court directed the tax department to refund the 25 billion
rupees ($500 million) that Vodafone, the world’s biggest
wireless-service provider by sales, had deposited, along with 4%

Indian tax authorities can file what is known as a “review
petition” to seek clarifications from the court on some aspects of
the case, but haven’t decided whether to do so, said Mohan
Parasaran, counsel for the tax department.

The Vodafone case took on heightened significance amid a
broadly grim climate for foreign investment in India. The ruling
will be a boost for India as it tries to convince companies to pour
more money into the country. Still, foreign companies will want

to see New Delhi take other steps, such as following through on promises to further open the retail sector to
foreign investment and speed up permits and approvals for big projects.

Vodafone’s rapid-fire expansion into emerging markets, which former CEO Arun Sarin engineered over half a
decade before stepping down in 2008, has become a cautionary tale for European companies chasing growth in
the developing world. Vodafone plunged quickly into India, Egypt, Ghana and Turkey—alluring high-growth
markets whose unpredictability has turned out to pose deep challenges for the company.

Cyril Shroff, managing partner of Indian law firm Amarchand Mangaldas, said the Vodafone decision was a
surprise in the Indian business world, where many people had assumed that the Supreme Court would uphold
the Mumbai High Court’s earlier decision and side with Indian tax authorities. “It’s a strong indication of an
independent judiciary, despite all the noise on the street and the fact Vodafone had lost in the High Court,” Mr.
Shroff said.

Mr. Shroff said the verdict provides much-needed clarity for
foreign investors who had become skittish about doing major
deals in India with so much tax uncertainty. “It was becoming a
big issue—just the fact that something could hit you like a bolt
from the blue in India,” Mr. Shroff said. Vodafone has said the
legal advice it received in India indicated it wouldn’t be taxed on
the Hutchison deal.

Mukesh Butani, chairman of consulting firm BMR Advisors,
said the decision delivered an important critique of India’s murky laws in areas such as taxes. “Certainty is an
integral part of the rule of law and the government needs to make laws that give a clear picture to investors,” Mr.
Butani said. BMR said Vodafone is one of its clients but it didn’t provide advice to the firm on the Supreme Court

The Vodafone case comes as the government of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is trying to reverse a worrying
slowdown in economic growth by boosting both domestic and foreign investment. Growth in gross domestic
product, once expected to be 9% in the year ending March 31, is now forecast to be about 7%, still high by
international standards but not enough to accomplish major objectives like rapid infrastructure development
and programs to alleviate poverty. Mr. Singh is planning a range of measures to jump-start growth, including
encouraging state-run firms to make major infrastructure investments and streamlining regulations in the power
sector. The government is also expected to consider opening up the aviation sector to investment by foreign

And it will likely reconsider a move to allow in foreign retailers like Wal-Mart Stores Inc. Late last year, the

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government approved a change that would allow 51% foreign ownership in Indian supermarkets and department
stores, but then reversed itself days later under pressure from a major coalition ally.

The 2007 Vodafone deal was structured as a transaction between the firm’s Dutch subsidiary and a Cayman
Islands-based company that held Hutchison Whampoa’s India assets.

The Supreme Court agreed with Vodafone that the deal isn’t subject to capital gains tax—and Vodafone therefore
had no obligation to withhold tax—even though the main asset changing hands was a controlling interest in an
Indian cellphone company. The court’s decision said taxing Vodafone “would amount to imposing capital
punishment for capital investment.”

The offshore transaction is a “bona fide” structure, Chief Justice S.H. Kapadia said while issuing the verdict. The
judge said the fact that Hutchison’s Cayman Islands unit was in place for several years before the deal suggested
that the deal structure wasn’t created with the purpose of sidestepping taxes.

The landmark ruling is a defining moment for Chief Justice Kapadia, who has guided the court through a
tumultuous time in India since taking over in May 2010, asserting the court’s role to oversee investigations into
corruption and large-scale tax evasion. He brought to the case an expertise in tax and finance law honed through
handling many corporate cases as a judge over the years. “He is someone who understands how the law affects
businesses,” said Nick Robinson, a visiting fellow at the Center for Policy Research, a think tank in New Delhi.

Lawyers said the ruling upheld a principle that many countries follow but that India didn’t—that tax authorities
should concern themselves only with the corporate structure or “form” of a merger deal, not the substance of
what assets are changing hands. The upshot of that approach is that India doesn’t have jurisdiction in tax deals
like the Vodafone one.

“It really clears the air for a number of foreign direct investors whose deals are pending because they had similar
structures to Vodafone and were concerned about this,” said Akhil Hirani, managing partner of law firm
Majmudar & Co.

Dinesh Kanabar, chairman of the tax practice at KPMG India, said the verdict will also help many other
companies that are facing Indian tax demands similar to Vodafone’s, including AT&T Inc. and SABMiller PLC.
“It’s a significant precedent for every single case,” he said.

Vodafone, which bought out Indian joint venture partner Essar Group last year, has had a rough time in the
country. Of Vodafone’s 391 million mobile phone customers globally, more than 146 million are in India, but
that hasn’t translated into huge profits. For the fiscal year ended last March, Vodafone’s India operation
generated $3.86 billion in revenue but just $15 million in operating profit.

The company was forced to book a $3.4 billion impairment charge on its Indian operations in May 2010 due to
tough competition from more than a dozen mobile rivals. Meanwhile, Vodafone has been pouring cash into
India. Between the 2007 acquisition and its investments in mobile-phone spectrum and cellular-network
infrastructure, the company has invested more than $26 billion.

Though its Supreme Court victory on Friday represents a major success, Vodafone has spent sizable sums
fighting the case and has also brushed up against other serious challenges there since entering the Indian market
in 2007. Not long after Vodafone entered, a major Indian regulatory shift led to the sudden entry of six new
competitors in the mobile market, triggering a price war that caused Vodafone to write down its initial $11.1
billion investment by about a third.

Vodafone has also suffered serious write-downs on its businesses in Turkey and Ghana due to adverse changes in
the macroeconomic assumptions the company made when sizing up acquisitions in the markets. Investors
eventually became fatigued with Vodafone’s rapid global expansion. Its CEO, Mr. Colao, has taken the hint and
announced plans to concentrate the company in Europe, India and sub-Saharan Africa rather than expanding

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The challenges posed by emerging markets haven’t been limited to Vodafone’s balance sheet. In Egypt, for
example, Vodafone took heat last year when government forces shut down its operations during the Arab Spring
and later used its mobile network to send out pro-regime propaganda messages via text.

Despite the volatility, however, Vodafone’s emerging-markets exposure has soothed investors as European
markets such as Spain, Italy and Portugal have become a drag on the company amid the European debt crisis
and sluggish economic climate.

In the year ended March 31, 2011, Asia, the Middle East and Africa region—which does not include Turkey
—comprised almost a third of Vodafone’s global service revenue of £42.7 billion ($66.1 billion). As service
revenue in Europe dropped 3.4% on a reported basis during the fiscal year, revenue in Asia, the Middle East and
Africa skyrocketed 20%. In India alone, service revenue surged by 23.9% on a reported basis.

—Lilly Vitorovich, Romit Guha, Shefali Anand and Paul Sonne contributed to this article.

Write to R. Jai Krishna at, Amol Sharma at and Lilly
Vitorovich at

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