Thousands of Irish minor shareholders in Vodafone will be given the chance to offload their holdings. These shares came about mainly from the sale of Eircell by Telecom Éireann to Vodafone in May 2001 in a move that gave the UK operator its first presence in the Irish market.

John Lowe, The Money Doctor says that for many people this will be the end to the sorry saga arising from the privatisation of Eircom in 1999. The offer is open to the 335,000 or so private individuals who hold fewer than 1,000 shares and will run from February 23 to May 24 this year. 1,000 shares will realise c. € 2,780 from the sale before costs.

Shareholders who weren’t given a chance to cash out at the time can now sell their holding for free if they are one of the 103,000 with fewer than 50 shares. Those with between 51 and 1,000 shares held electronically in the Vodafone Share Account can sell at a cost of €0.21 per share subject to a maximum charge of €42.

Certified shareholders — those with share certificates, with between 51 and 1,000 shares — can sell at €0.35 per share subject to the same maximum charge. Alternatively, shareholders can buy between €1,400 and €10,400 worth of additional shares for a transaction fee of €42 or they can sell their holdings and donate the proceeds to charity via ShareGift at no extra cost.

Shareholders can also choose to take no action and retain their holding.

Those looking to either buy or sell shares should complete the share dealing form sent to them, or will be in the coming days, and reply to Computershare. If shareholders hold shares in the Vodafone Share Account they may also instruct Computershare to sell or donate their shares online.

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