Deadline looms again for Vodafone shareholders

Investors seeking forms to sell Verizon shares in ‘commission free’ offer must contact registrar by tomorrow

More than 380,000 Irish people are shareholders in Vodafone

More than 380,000 Irish people are shareholders in Vodafone


Vodafone shareholders face a new deadline if they are looking to sell shares in US telecoms group Verizon which they received recently as part of a complex “return of value”.

Computershare, which manages Vodafone’s share register, has said it will stop issuing replacement forms tomorrow for people looking to sell their Verizon shares through a special “commission free” offer.

“The last day that we will process requests to provide a replacement form is Thursday, March 27th, with personalised forms being printed and despatched to shareholders on Friday, March 28th,” a spokesman for Computershare said.

The forms must be back with Computershare by 5pm on Friday of next week – April 4th – to avail of the free service. Any forms arriving after that time will be returned to shareholders and they will have to use the services of a stockbroker which will charge for the business.

More than 380,000 Irish people are shareholders in the British mobile phone group – most of them as a result of their initial investment in the flotation of Telecom Éireann in 1999. As part of the recent return of value, these shareholders received a small amount of cash for each Vodafone share. They also got one share in Verizon for just under every 39 shares held in Vodafone. As most Irish shareholders have relatively small stakes in Vodafone – the entire 380,000-plus hold roughly 1 per cent of the company – many will have 10 or fewer Verizon shares. Each of these was worth about $47.30 in yesterday’s US trading.

All shareholders will have received a dealing form to enable them to avail of the commission free offer with their original information packs. Some, who mislaid those packs, have already received replacement forms. Computershare also sent out another copy of the form with the earlier Vodafone payments.

Computershare, which has been the subject of angry shareholder communications over missed deadlines on the original Vodafone offer, urged Irish shareholders not to leave it to the last minute to return forms, and many Irish shareholders have already done so.

However, although the forms required only an X in one box and to be signed and dated, Computershare said it had already had to reject a number of forms, mostly because they were not signed.