Administration of Vodafone and Verizon Shares

09 July 2021


I’m not sure where you were in 1999 at the time of the eircom floatation. But everyone piled in, because no-one could lose. Then everyone got burnt, but then everyone piled into property because no-one could lose, but then everyone got burnt. Etc etc . . .However . . .Dogecoin . . now that’s different!!

However, the consequences of all of this is that as probate practitioners we must deal with the “weeds” of probate administration which includes Vodafone and Verizon shares. Whats that got to do with eircom!! A little bit of history.

After the floatation of eircom, you will recall that many of these shares converted to Vodafone, because of the spin out of Eircell to Vodafone in 2001. Vodafone then sold their US share in Verizon to Verizon in 2014 which gave one Verizon share for every 38 Vodafone shares. At that time there were 383,000 Vodafone shareholders in Ireland. So we can see why these assets are still “floating” around, so to speak.

So how do we deal with these assets? Vodafone is a UK asset and Verizon is a US asset. They go into the foreign asset section of the SA24. Their value must be converted to euro from sterling and dollar respectively. So you get the value of the shares as of the date of death and multiply that by the exchange rate as of the date of death. I use to look up exchange rates for a particular date. To find the historical Vodafone price, I just google “Historical Vodafone price” and use the historical calculator from Yahoo finance. Note, the share price for Vodafone is quoted in pence. So as of writing today the price is STG117.2p. That’s STG£1.17. Verizon is quoted in dollars. So today’s price is US$55.58. When calculating tax for your IT38, you have to calculate prices as of the valuation date.

Now note . . Sad Probate Person Alert!!. . . the big news is that the administration of Vodafone shares, has moved from Computershare to Equiniti. Of course this should be the opening line of all conversations with friends and neighbours when supping pints in the rain. Hopefully having Equiniti in place will make the administration of this asset less of a margin sapping chore.