David Einhorn, the poker-playing hedge-fund manager, said Vodafone Group Plc (VOD) may be a takeover target for AT&T Inc. (T:US) after the British phone company ends its joint venture with Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ:US)
Following Verizon’s $130 billion buyout of Vodafone’s Verizon Wireless stake, the Newbury, England-based company could be enticing to a range of companies looking to expand in Europe, said Einhorn, the president of Greenlight Capital, which owns Vodafone shares.
“Vodafone remains pretty attractive, because once you strip out the consideration for Verizon, you’re left with the European business,” Einhorn said on Bloomberg Television’s “Market Makers” with Stephanie Ruhle and Erik Schatzker. “If nothing else, it could be a target for someone like AT&T, that wants to get exposure to Europe.”
AT&T has said as recently as last week that Europe remains attractive, based on the relatively lower value of the wireless carriers there. It also sees an opportunity to benefit from investment in network upgrades that might prime the pump for higher mobile data consumption.
“It’s a value play,” AT&T Chief Executive Officer Randall Stephenson said to investors last month at a Goldman Sachs Group Inc. conference in New York. “If there are opportunities that look like a good value and the opportunity is there to invest, of course, we would do it.”
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