Vodafone Group plc
Vodafone is a multi-national telecommunications conglomerate, headquartered in London. It is one of the world's largest mobile telephone operators, owning and operating networks in 26 countries, with partner networks in 50+ additional countries.
Operations are in Africa/Middle East/Asia Pacific: 24.5%; Germany: 23.1%; the UK: 15.1%; Italy: 13.2%; Spain: 10.6%; Europe: 10.5%; and Other: 3%. The group operates through two sectors:
- Mobile telecommunication services;
- Fixed telecommunication services: fixed-line telephony and Internet access services.
- 3.17% Vanguard Group Inc
- 3.00% Norges Bank Investment Management
- 2.48% BlackRock Fund Advisors
- 2.26% Legal & General Investment Management Ltd
- 1.87% Clearstream Banking SA
- 1.83% BlackRock Investment Management (UK) Ltd
- 1.55% Capital Research & Management Company (Global)
- 1.34% Standard Life Investments Ltd
- 1.27% State Street Global Advisors Ltd
- 1.22% Causeway Capital Management LLC
- Vodafone Group plc
- UK subsidiaries, AR-2018, p.173
Vodafone Global Enterprise Ltd
- Jul.2019: Liberty Global sold its German (Unitymedia GmbH), Hungarian (UPC Hungary), Romanian (UPC Romania) and Czech Republic (UPC Czech) operations to Vodafone.[vf 1][vf 2] EC regulatory approval was received in Jun.2019. Unitymedia is the leading cable operator in Germany and the German federal states of North Rhine-Westphalia, Hesse and Baden-Württemberg. Website
- Aug.2016: Vodafone announced that Demon was to die...
- Feb.2000: Mannesmann AG was acquired after a takeover battle, with the telecommunications division subsequently incorporated into the Vodafone Group;ref the other divisions were sold to various companies after completion of the deal. Mannesmannröhren-Werke AG, Mannesmann's pipe production activities, was sold to Salzgitter AG, along with the Mannesmann brand name.ref,ref
- Jul.2012: Cable & Wireless Worldwide plc was acquired by Vodafone.[vf 3],ref The acquisition gave Vodafone access to CWW's fibre network for businesses, enabling it to take unified communications solutions to large enterprises; and expand its enterprise service offerings in emerging markets. The business was hived up in Apr.2013.
- Jul.2000: Vodafone Group plc: after a joint approval by its shareholders in its Annual General Meeting, the name reverted back to the original.
- Jun.1999: Vodafone Air Touch plc: after its merger with Air Touch Communications Inc, the company changed its name.
- 1996: Cellular Communications Inc: Blumenthal and Knapp sold most of the company to AirTouch (later known as Vodafone).
- 1983: Cellular One was established by George Blumenthal and J Barclay Knapp, which grew into the highly successful Cellular Communications Inc. todo: WP:AirTouch, WP:Verizon Communications
Cable & Wireless plc
|May.2016||Cable & Wireless Communications plc was acquired by Liberty Global plc, and delisted from the London Stock Exchange.ref|
|May.2013||Cable & Wireless Communications left the UK after 140 years, relocating to Florida, USA. CWC sold its networks in the Channel Islands, the Falklands and the Isle of Man so that it can focus on operations in Panama and its Caribbean stronghold. As part of its retrenchment to the pan-American region, CWC disposed of its Macau network, selling it to Citic Telecom.ref|
|Mar.2010||Cable & Wireless plc split:ref
|Mar.2009||Thus Mobile's business and assets (Intercell Ltd) were sold to Genesis Communications Ltd. ref,ref[CWC 1]|
|Jan.2009||Thus was hived up into Cable & Wireless plc, and ceased trading.AR-2009, p.34|
|Thus Group plc was acquired by Cable & Wireless plc.ref|
|Aug.2005||Energis Communications Ltd was acquired by Cable and Wireless plc.|
|May.2000||Cable & Wireless's consumer cable telephone, Internet and television operations were sold to NTL.ref|
|Aug.1999||Mercury One-2-One: the network was purchased by Deutsche Telekom, and rebranded as "T-Mobile" in Summer 2002.|
|May.2004||Bulldog Communications Ltd, a UK company specialising in the provision of broadband services, was acquired by Cable & Wireless plc's subsidiary Sabre Holdings Ltd,ref from private equity firm Fresh Capital, owned by South African Hanover Group Ltd. The acquisition enabled C&W to return to the residential market.ref,ref In Sept.2006, the company's name was changed to Cable & Wireless Access Ltd, and was hived up; Bulldog ceased trading in May.2008.|
|Aug.1999||Cable & Wireless and MediaOne Group Inc sold the partnership and 5 trading companies (including Mercury Personal Communications Ltd) to Deutsche Telekom AG. MPC 92 name changed to Deutsche Telekom Mobile No.5 Ltd. Still a partner in One 2 One. Mercury Personal Comms Ltd renamed One 2 One Personal Communications Ltd, both 100% owned by DT AG.|
|Mar.1999||Mercury One-2-One: Cable & Wireless and MediaOne Group Inc (US West Inc) announced they were exploring ownership alternatives. Losses and debts had been steadily mounting.(AR-Mar.1999)|
|Jul.1997||One2One announced the first "pay-as-you-go service. Customers bought a handset, plus air time at a flat rate.|
|Mar.1997||Cable and Wireless Communications plc was floated on the Stock Exchange. The name "Mercury Communications" disappeared into the ether forever.|
|Hong Kong Communications: with the reversion of Hong Kong to Chinese rule in mid-1997, Cable and Wireless had little choice but to sell a stake in Hong Kong Communications to a mainland Chinese company. Considered by the Chinese govt as part of a "strategic" industry, Hong Kong Communications was required to be held in part by a Chinese firm. China Telecom acquired a 5.5% stake in the company. Cable and Wireless hoped that by sacrificing a portion of its cash cow, it would gain access to mainland China, where the telecommunications market promised to boom in the coming years.|
|Oct.1996||Cable and Wireless Communications: Cable and Wireless' plans to merge its Mercury Communications subsidiary with cable television operators Nynex CableComms (Nynex Corporation's UK arm), Bell Cablemedia (Bell Canada International), and Vidéotron solidified. Cable and Wireless owned a 52.6% stake in the new venture.|
|Sept.1993||Mercury One2One was launched as a 50/50 joint venture between Cable & Wireless and US West Media Group, a US cellular and local telephone provider. Mercury One2One planned to undercut Vodafone's and Cellnet's pricing plans to offer mass-market wireless services for 50% less than current cellular service. On launch, Lord Young promised free local off-peak calls which "were here to stay". In Sept.1995, free off-peak local calls were restricted to weekends-only, the launch strategy having served its purpose.|
|Jan.1993||Mercury Communications: Cable & Wireless sold a 20% stake to Canadian telecommunications company BCE Inc (Bell Canada Enterprises Inc), which gave much-needed telecommunications expertise to Mercury. BCE Inc also owned two cable companies in the UK.(AR-Mar.1994, p.13)|
|Apr.1992||Mercury One-2-One: Cable & Wireless and US West agreed to a full merger between the Unitel Partnership and Mercury PCN Ltd, for the purpose of providing PCN services.(AR-Mar.1992,AR-Dec.1991)|
|Jul.1991||Mercury Personal Communications Network Ltd, (Mercury Communication's sister concern), was awarded a licence by the Secretary of State of Trade and Industry to develop and operate a Personal communications network.(AR-Mar.1990),|
Parallel Network Alliance Ltd: Mercury PCN Ltd entered into a JV with the Unitel Partnership to fund a jont telecommunications network.
|Jun.1991||Mercury Personal Communications Ltd: Cable & Wireless and US West International formed a 50/50 partnership called "Unitel".|
In May.1992, the partnership merged Unitel Ltd and Mercury PCN Ltd. The merged entity was renamed "Mercury Personal Communications Ltd".(AR-Dec.1991, p.1)
|Jun.1991||Mercury PCN Ltd: Cable & Wireless plc acquired Motorola's shares, gaining 100% ownership.|
Unitel Partnership: Mercury PCN Ltd entered into a partnership with US West PCN Inc (a subsidiary of US West Inc).
|Oct.1990||David Young, erstwhile Trade and Industry Secretary (Jun.1987-Jul.1989) became chairman of Cable and Wireless. Young was made "Baron Young of Graffham", courtesy of Margaret Thatcher in thanks for his hard line in overseeing much of her privatisation. Young made a tidy sum from share options in privatised public utilities.|
|1990s||The company's main objective was the completion of the global digital "highway," linking the centers of the world economy through fibre optic cables. The highway included the private transatlantic telecommunications cable, which came into operation in autumn 1989. It linked customers of Cable and Wireless and Sprint, its USA partner, in the UK and the USA with the European mainland, Bermuda, and many other Atlantic countries. The highway also included the North Pacific Cable, which opened in 1990 as a joint venture between Cable & Wireless, Pacific Telecom (USA), and IDC (Japan), of which Cable and Wireless owned ~16%.|
|Apr.1989-Mar.1990||Diversification: new companies were formed and/or operations extended in Yemen, the Seychelles, Pakistan, and the Caribbean. The Hong Kong businesses remained central to profitability. Cable and Wireless also owned 70% of Grenada Telecommunications.|
|Mar.1989||Mercury PCN Ltd: Mercury Personal Communications Network Ltd was established following a joint agreement between Cable & Wireless and Motorola Inc, to lead the establishment of a PCN in the UK.|
|1989||Personal Communications Networks: the Department of Trade & Industry's paper "Phones on the Move" first proposed Personal Communications Networks, to operate in the 1800 MHz frequency band. This paper, combined with the Conservative govt's privatisation and liberalisation policies, played a large role in shaping the UK telecommunications landscape.|
|mid-1987||TDX Systems: Cable and Wireless completed its purchase of the TDX network in the USA. TDX Systems had been an early customer of CWC, carrying data on its fibre network.|
|1984||Mercury Communications Ltd: Cable & Wireless plc bought out Barclays's and BP's shares.|
|Nov.1981||Privatisation: the govt sold 49% of its shares in Cable and Wireless as its first privatisation venture. By 1985, all shares had been sold to the private sector apart from a single "golden share" retained by the govt.|
|Oct.1981||Cable & Wireless plc had the dubious honour of being the first company to be privatised under Margaret Thatcher's reign, with 49% of the company sold. The remaining 51% was sold in two further tranches, in 1983 and 1985.|
|Oct.1981||Mercury Communications Ltd received a 25-year renewable license to operate a national and international digital network. The license allowed it to connect with any BT network, and to enter the European and USA sectors.|
|Oct.1981||British Telecommunications: the Post Office was split into two separate public corporations: the Post Office and British Telecommunications.|
|1981||Mercury Communications Ltd was launched as a joint venture between Cable & Wireless plc, Barclays Bank and British Petroleum, to establish a 2nd telecommunications network to compete against British Telecom, which held a monopoly in providing UK telephone services.|
|1980s||The early 1980s saw rapid change, with Post Office Communications rebranded British Telecom, and the emergence of a duopoly (BT and Mercury) in Nov.1983.|
|A new govt came into office, determined to privatise as much of the state-owned sector as possible.|
|1950s‑1970s||Many UK overseas possessions became independent states. In cases where their external telecommunications systems had been operated by Cable and Wireless, it became a junior partner, with the various new govts.|
By 1972, Cable and Wireless' largest operation was in Hong Kong, where the international telephone service it operated provided 88% of its profits. The UK govt was still its sole shareholder, receiving all profits whilst offering no assistance.
|1950||General Post Office.|
|Jan.1947||Nationalisation: the govt nationalised Cable & Wireless Ltd, although not its holdco "Cable & Wireless (Holding)", which became an investment trust.|
|English Electric Company Ltd acquired Cable & Wireless's 100% holding in Marconi's Wireless Telegraph Company. This reflected an intention to diversify the business from heavy electrical engineering to (what was seen as) the new field of electronics. This also gave English Electric Co. 42% of Marconi International Marine Company, and the entirety of Marconi Instruments Ltd. English Electric Co. established the English Electric Valve Company to hold the ex-Marconi valve business.|
|Cable & Wireless Ltd: Cables & Wireless Ltd was renamed, after the company was given outright ownership of the short-wave radio system created by the General Post Office; in return the govt acquired some share ownership.[CWC 2]|
|Imperial & International Communications Ltd: The govt decided to merge the British Empire's communications methods into one operating company. .|
Imperial & International's holding company was known as Cables & Wireless Ltd; it also held interests in Marconi's Wireless Telegraph Company's assets, along with 12 other companies. Marconi's operations remained with itself.
See also Grace's Guide, Imperial Wireless Chain § Commercial impact.
Mercury One 2 One
Thus Group plc
|Oct.2008||Cable & Wireless plc acquired Thus Group plc.ref,ref,ref|
|Mar.2006||Legend Communications plc was acquired by Thus Group plc.ref,ref|
|Feb.2006||Your Communications was acquired by Thus Group plc from United Utilities Group plc, which acquired a 22.5% stake in Thus as part of the deal.ref|
|Mar.2002||Thus Group plc: Thus demerged from Scottish Power.|
|Nov.1999||Thus plc was partially (49.9%) floated on the London Stock Exchange.ref|
|Oct.1999||Thus plc: Scottish Telecom rebranded to Thus.ref,ref|
|May.1998||Demon Internet was acquired by Scottish Telecom.ref,ref,ref|
|Nov.1994||Scottish Telecom, formally known as "Scottish Power Telecommunications Holdings Ltd", was founded by ScottishPower to run telecommunication systems.ref,ref|
|Nov.2005||Cable & Wireless plc acquired Energis.|
|Aug.2005||Cable & Wireless offered to acquire the company.|
|Jul.2002||Energis plc was placed in administration. Its UK operations were transferred to Energis Communications Ltd (formerly Telecom Electric Ltd), a wholly-owned subsidiary of a new, bank-owned holdco, Chelys Ltd.|
|1998‑2002||Energis expanded rapidly, acquiring a number of companies throughout Europe. It also entered into various joint ventures, such as with Deutsche Telekom and France Télécom SA to build and/or acquire metropolitan area telecommunications networks in the UK's principal cities. However, bond issues to finance capital expenditure and acquisition, bank loans, debt interest and mounting losses combined to bring the company down.|
|Dec.1997||Energis plc was floated on the London Stock Exchange. Its network architecture was exclusively based on Synchronous Digital Hierarchy, a new technology at the time.|
|Mar.1993||Energis plc was formed through the demerger of Telecom Electric Ltd. Its national optical fibre network was partially deployed via the overhead power transmission network of the grid.|
|Sept.1992||Telecom Electric Ltd was formed by the National Grid Company plc as project to determine the feasibility of running suspended optical fibre cables across the pylons of the high voltage power distribution network.|
- Oct.01.2018: Germany deal tops in-tray for Nick Read at Vodafone. Vodafone may be contending with the growing power of Elliott Advisors, the activist shareholder. Under Vittorio Colao, Vodafone was transformed from a consumer-focused mobile operator into a telecoms groups offering broadband, mobile, television and landline telephone services, generating revenue of €46.6 billion last year. Nick Read, his former chief financial officer, formally takes over as chief executive today. ...high leverage following the completion of the €18.4 bn deal with Liberty Global. Investors are fretting about potential remedies that the European Commission may impose to alleviate concerns that the German deal will be bad for consumers. Alex Ralph, The Times.
- Corporate Political Engagement Index 2018. The new index of 104 multi-national companies, many of whom regularly meet with govt, has found nearly 75% are failing to adequately disclose how they engage with politicians. Only one company received the highest grade, with the average grade being "E" – representing poor standards in transparency. Transparency International UK, Nov.2018.
- The A-List of Climate Policy Engagement. Which global companies lead in strategic lobbying for the ambitions of Paris? Rankings measure how a corporation or trade association behaves towards 2°C aligned climate and energy policy. Influence Map, Apr.2018.