The meeting will take place amid rampant speculation that Bell Atlantic, the acquisitive Baby Bell, is poised to raise its offer for AirTouch. Bell Atlantic has reportedly tabled a bid valuing AirTouch, the world's largest mobile phone group, at $45bn. But this was beaten by an all-share offer from Vodafone believed to value the company at more than $90 a share.
Ken Hydon, Vodafone finance director, is understood to have flown to the US last night with a team from Goldman Sachs, the group's financial advisers. Chris Gent, the chief executive, is thought to be following the negotiations from New Zealand where he is attending a board meeting.
Shares in AirTouch jumped a further $2.50 to $79.75 in early trading yesterday. In London, Vodafone dipped 21.5p to 1,089p although other telecoms stocks, including Cable & Wireless and Orange, posted strong gains.
Analysts believe that other US telecoms groups could enter the bidding.Reuse content