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Vodafone Sells $8 Billion Stake In SFR

Vodafone's latest move to sell its minority stake in France's SFR to Vivendi for $7.95 billion, paves the way for the company's future strategy.

The company announced that it will be selling its 44 per cent stake in French telecom firm SFR to Vivendi, which already owns a 56 per cent stake in the company. SFR offers fixed line, mobile and broadband services in France and has a user base of 20 million.

The $7.95 billion it receives from Vivendi will be used by the company to buy back some of its shares and the rest will be used to clear its debts.

The move will allow the company to focus on operations which are wholly owned or which the company has a controlling share in. Vodafone plans to consolidate its operations locally and internationally and plans to focus on key markets like the UK, US and India.

According to an article on The Telegraph, Vodafone's next big challenge lies in the US in the form of Verizon Wireless.

Verizon Wireless is jointly owned by Verizon Communications and Vodafone, with the former having a majority stake. Vodafone will be looking to expand its position in the US market and instead of opting to sell its stake in Verizon, a large trans-Atlantic merger could yet be on the cards.