Vodafone is selling its stake in US mobile network Verizon for about $130 billion according to press reports. That’s more than £80 billion.
And the deal will almost certainly be tax free. No great offshore planning will be needed to achieve this: Gordon Brown introduced the substantial shareholdings exemption in 2002. The result is that Vodafone has an automatic right not to pay tax on this gain in the UK.
Yes, there is that SSE.
But it’s also true that the Verizon stake is being sold for a mix of cash and shares. And the cash part is less than what Vodafone paid for AirTouch 15 years ago. A share swap doesn’t trigger a CGT or corporation tax bill. And if the cash part isn’t a profit…..