British mobile phone giant Vodafone is preparing to sell its multi-billion-pound stake in French telecoms company SFR as part of a strategy to focus on core markets, a report said Sunday.
Citing senior sources at Vodafone, the Sunday Times said chief executive Vittorio Colao had decided to sell the French holding in a deal that could be worth seven billion pounds (8.4 billion euros, 10.8 billion dollars).
A spokeswoman for the British firm told AFP that Vodafone owned 44 percent of SFR, but refused to comment on the reports of a sell-off.
Vodafone this week sold its stake in China Mobile for 4.3 billion pounds, in what was expected to be the first of several sell-offs of minority holdings as the firm seeks to focus on core markets to try to improve its share price.
However, the Sunday Times report said Colao was holding back from any swift sale of Vodafone's interests in the United States, where it holds a minority stake in Verizon Wireless that could be worth 35 billion dollars.