Vodafone Group Rises Amid Fresh Speculation

LONDON -- In recent days, Vodafone  (LSE: VOD  ) (NASDAQ: VOD  )  has issued us with a number of news items, each representing a signal of intent from the company in its own way.

Kabel Deutschland
First, The Wall Street Journal has reported that Vodafone is again looking at a bid for Kabel Deutschland, citing several people "familiar with the matter." Initially revealed back in February, the move would boost Vodafone's profile in Europe, and strengthen its fixed-line operations that are needed to connect its radio masts, as well as handle the volumes of Internet data.

This would also offer Vodafone an entry point into Germany's pay-TV and Internet market, having recently partnered with Deutsche Telekom to provide German customers with TV services over high-speed broadband, and pushing CEO Vittorio Colao's vision of Vodafone becoming a "one-stop shop."

Verizon Wireless
In other news, reports suggest that Vodafone and Verizon Communications are closer to finalizing a deal regarding their joint venture, Verizon Wireless. It remains unclear as to how the deal will shape up, with a possible merger previously mooted; however, the most likely outcome is Vodafone selling its 45% interest in Wireless to Verizon for a price in excess of 70 billion pounds.

One of the largest sticking points is tax, with Vodafone unwilling to part with such a prime asset as Wireless without receiving a sizable sum in its coffers, especially after any due tax is paid. However, the CFO of Verizon previously claimed that he saw the deal going through without too many issues on that front, while U.S. tax expert Robert Willens has stated: "There shouldn't be any U.S. tax, nor should there be any U.K. tax because of the substantial shareholding exemption."

Foolish final thought
So we investors continue to wait and see what the near future holds for Vodafone, with the shares rising over 1% in early trade this morning. But whether today's news makes Vodafone a buy is something only you can decide. Personally, I see more upside in the shares and will continue to hold until I hear further, firm news on the Verizon deal.

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