Vodafone offloads $6.5 billion of China Mobile stock

The record deal is well received, but a tough timetable and a tight discount leave the three bookrunners holding a small portion of the shares.

UK mobile operator Vodafone yesterday raised HK$50.9 billion $6.5 billion from the sale of its entire 3.2% stake in Hong Kong-listed China Mobile, as part of a plan to divest minority holdings that it doesn’t view as essential for its business.

The massive deal is the largest overnight equity offering in Asia-Pacific ever, according to Dealogic data, ahead of a $3.5 billion placement of Rio Tinto shares in July 2009. It also dwarfs Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s $2.8 billion sell-down in China Construction Bank in January last year, which was previously the largest block trade in a Chinese company involving a foreign shareholder.

It was also the second block trade above $1 billion...

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