Q&A: How to sell your Vodafone shares

The telecoms company is offering Irish investors the chance to sell cheaply

Vodafone and Verizon shares can be traced back to  original purchase of shares in the Telecom Éireann (Eir) flotation in 1999, being discussed here with  then minister Mary O’Rourke in the centre. Photograph Paddy Whelan

Vodafone and Verizon shares can be traced back to original purchase of shares in the Telecom Éireann (Eir) flotation in 1999, being discussed here with then minister Mary O’Rourke in the centre. Photograph Paddy Whelan

 

Vodafone is offering Irish shareholders a low cost way of selling their shares. But who’s eligible?

The scheme is open to any private individual owning fewer than 1,000 shares in the company. That represents close to 335,000 people in Ireland.

What are my choices?

Technically, you can sell OR buy shares under the low cost scheme but, in reality, in Ireland, the expectation is that most people will be looking to sell. The other option is to donate them to charity through a ShareGift option provided.

Can I sell some of my shares and hold on to the rest?

No, to be eligible, anyone availing of the scheme must sell their entire shareholding in Vodafone. If availing of the ShareGift option to donate your shares, again all your shares must be committed.

How low cost?

If you own between one and 50 shares, it will cost you nothing. If you have somewhere between 51 and 1,000 shares, you’ll pay 35 cent a share for the sale, with a maximum charge of €42 if you hold a paper certificate, and 21 cent a share (with the same €42 maximum) if you hold your shares electronically though a Vodafone Share Account .

How do I take up this offer?

Vodafone is posting information and dealing forms to all eligible Irish shareholders. You need to fill up the relevant sections of the form and return it to Computershare, the telecom group’s share registrar.

Oh not, not Computershare. I had terrible trouble with them last time because they said my Vodafone return of value form didn’t arrive by the deadline and I ended up with a potential tax bill. Is there any other way?

No, there isn’t but Vodafone and Computershare are much the wiser for the problems that occurred back in early 2014, when thousands of forms went missing. Standard Life had a similar issue last year and that was eventually traced back to the postal service – though it was never clarified if the fault lay with An Post or the Royal Mail.

Anyway, the business reply envelopes arriving with your dealing form and information pack are addressed to Computershare’s Dublin office, so there is far less room for confusion. The helpline number if you have any questions will also be an Irish number – 0818 300999 – though it will be patched through to a Bristol call centre that is specifically briefed on this offer and issues for Irish shareholders.

I can’t find my paper share certificate but I don’t want to lose out. What can I do?

There is an indemnity section on the back of the dealing form and you will need to fill this out. This is to protect Computershare and Vodafone in case two people apply to sell the same shares.

What happens if I receive nothing in the post?

Contact the helpdesk on 0818 300999. It’s quite possible you have moved since you last told Vodafone where to find you, and the letter has gone to an old address.

I already have information from Verizon about a similar offer. Is this the same thing?

It’s entirely separate – even though both your Vodafone and Verizon shares can be traced back to your original purchase of shares in the Telecom Éireann (Eir) flotation. Each has their own deadlines and their own forms. Don’t mix the two up.

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