Vodafone, the world’s largest mobile operator, has sold its 50% stake in German auto parts and navigation systems company Atecs Mannesmann to Siemens for E3.7 billion in cash.
Vodafone has now sold all the non-core units it acquired with its 2000 purchase of Mannesmann, except for German fixed-line telco Arcor. It had already reduced its Atecs from 100% in 2000, and had an option to sell its remaining share to Siemens any time before December 31, 2003.
Siemens will pay Vodafone by March this year. This forthcoming cash infusion has fueled rumors that the mobile giant might be planning another acquisition, with reported targets including Telekom Austria. However, Vodafone has told the press that it does not plan to put the money to any specific purpose.