The company we now know as Vodafone evolved in 1980 as a result of an agreement between Lord Weinstock of GEC and Ernest Harrison of Racal Electronics. The agreement gave Racal access to GEC’s military radio technology. In 1982 the company, which at this time was called Racal-Milicom Ltd., set about bidding for and being awarded the second sale of the UK mobile network licence.
Vodafone was launched on January 1st 1985 under the new name of Racal-Vodafone (Holdings) Ltd.. In December 1986 Racal Electronics bought out all the minority shareholders of Vodafone for £110 million. At that point Vodafone became a wholly owned brand of Racal Electronics.
Racal Electronics changed the name of the company to Racal Telecom in 1988 and floated the company on the London Stock Exchange by offering 20% of its holding to the public. The only problem was that following the highly successful offering Racal’s remaining stake in Racal Telecom was worth more than Racal Electronics itself. This was an unrealistic situation and so it was decided, in 1991, to strip Racal Telecom out of its parent company and in September 1991 the now named Vodafone Group, was born.
Throughout the 1990s the company was very active in mergers and acquisitions in Europe and the USA with changes in the company name being associated with various tie-ups. In July 2001 the company reverted to its Vodafone Group plc name and acquired the largest wireless communications company in Ireland, Eircell. In the same year J-Phone, which was the third largest mobile operator in Japan and the first to introduce camera phones, was also acquired.
In December 2001 Vodafone made an important strategic decision by introducing the concept of “Partner Networks”. This involved the introduction of Vodafone international services to a local market without the need to invest with Vodafone’s brand and services being tacked on to a local operator name and marketing..
More recently, in April 2012, the company announced that they had agreed to acquire Cable & Wireless Worldwide (CWW) giving Vodafone access to CWW’s fibre network for businesses enabling it to offer unified communications solutions to large entities on a global basis and to expand its services in emerging markets.
In June 2013 the company announced an all-cash deal to buy the German cable company Kabel Deutschland for Euros 7.7 billion to enable the company to continue to expand in that country by cross-selling TV and broadband services. In September of this year the company set in train an agreement to sell its 45% stake in Verizon Wireless to Verizon Communications for $130 billion with shareholders set to get receive a potential windfall of £54 billion ($84 billion). To assist with the financing of this purchase, from Vodafone, Verizon Communications launched a $49 billion bond sale creating a bit of corporate history by being the largest investment-grade corporate bond offering of all time.
During the last thirty years Vodafone has developed itself into the world’s second-largest mobile telecommunications in the world (behind China Mobile). The company owns and operates networks in over 30 counties and has partner networks in another 40 countries and Vodafone’s Global Enterprise Division provides telecommunications services to corporate clients in over 65 countries. The company’s primary stock market listing is in London and is one of the biggest in the FTSE 100 index with a market capitalisation of some £80 billion.
Discussion of the financial information 2012-2103
Vodafone has recorded its first ever fall in annual revenues after the recession in southern Europe caused its income there to dip by almost 17%.
With its finances under pressure, the British mobile phone company said it would reinvest next month's £2.1bn dividend from US subsidiary Verizon Wireless in the business rather than return cash to shareholders.
Overall revenues fell 4.2% to £44.4bn, marking the first such