When I wrote yesterday about Motley Fool Inside Value selection Vodafone's
Yet a suitor has been found: SoftBank has triumphed over the U.S. private equity funds that challenged its bid. I mentioned yesterday that SoftBank is a logical buyer, since the company can pair Vodafone's mobile service with its broadband Internet and fixed-line telephone offerings. I neglected to mention that SoftBank also controls Yahoo! Japan, and will be able to specifically tailor the site's services to mobile customers.
The combination means that all three of Japan's major wireless players can now offer customers communications beyond mobile services. (The other two are NTT DoCoMo
According to the press release (link opens PDF file) on Vodafone's website, the company will receive approximately 1.8 trillion yen ($15.5 billion by my estimates, or 8.9 billion British pounds) from the sale. The press release is primarily in pounds and yen, but since we live in the U.S., I'm sure you all want to know the deal's specifics in dollar terms, so I've worked up some estimates.
Vodafone will receive 6.8 billion pounds ($11.95 billion) in cash, with the remainder of the purchase price in preferred shares and debt. Happily, the company will give shareholders most of the cash it receives as a 10 pence-per-share dividend. With the company's share-to-ADR ratio at 10:1, U.S. ADR holders should expect a dividend of 1 pound ($1.75) per ADR.
I don't think shareholders can ask for much more than that. The company has harvested cash from a situation where competition is fierce and likely to become more so, and where the model it employs in Europe was not working. Vodafone apparently lacks a pressing need for the cash; returning it to shareholders is not a bad deal at all, in my opinion.
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