Vodafone sells Japanese unit to Softbank

Mar 17 2006 - 04:12 PM ET | Vodafone

Vodafone Group today confirmed a rumored sale of its Japanese unit, Vodafone K.K. to Softbank for $15.4 billion. Vodafone K.K. is the third largest carrier in Japan but has been struggling financially. Vodafone shareholders were not too impressed with the deal, though they will be on the receiving end of the $15 billion sale price.

The sale of Vodafone K.K. is expected to lessen some of the pressure on Vodafone’s leadership to prop up its stock price. Investors have pushed the carrier to sell its operations in Japan and/or its 45-percent stake in Verizon Wireless. Sarin [Vodafone's President and CEO] said in a conference call that Vodafone was “happy” with its position in the United States and had no current plans to sell its stake