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Last Updated: Tuesday, 24 July 2007, 17:47 GMT 18:47 UK
Vodafone sees off rebel investors
Vodafone sign
Vodafone's stake in Verizon Wireless is valued at about $54bn
The vast majority of Vodafone shareholders have backed the company's management and seen off attempts by rebel investors to overhaul the firm.

An activist group wanted Vodafone to spin off its 45% stake in US mobile firm Verizon Wireless - and returning cash to investors.

But Vodafone chairman Sir John Bond said the proposal would saddle the firm with "extraordinary" levels of debt.

About 93% of shareholders opposed the proposal at its annual general meeting.

The activist group - Efficient Capital Structures (ECS) - is headed by ex-Marconi finance director John Mayo.

It had used a clause in the Companies Act to get the matter onto the meeting's agenda.

ECS chairman Glenn Cooper told Reuters that because the issue had been raised, Vodafone would have to change its approach to Verizon.

The majority stake in Verizon Wireless is owned by Verizon Communications, the second biggest telecoms firm in the US.

Separately, Vodafone directors defended changes to a remuneration scheme which will see earnings per share have to grow by between 5% and 8% rather than 5% and 10% for bonuses to executives to be triggered.

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