Vodafone in talks over huge US deal
Vodafone has confirmed it is in talks over a deal that will see it exit the United States through one of the largest corporate transactions of all time.
Shares in the mobile phone giant jumped 9% after it said it was in discussions with US partner, Verizon Communications, over a sale of its 45% stake in Verizon Wireless, which is America’s largest mobile phone operator.
It is thought that Verizon wants to pay around US $100bn for the stake, although reports have said that Vodafone is pressing for as much as US $ 130bn. This compares with AOL’s record US $164bn takeover of Time Warner in 2001.
Vodafone has a market worth of just under £100bn, which means the bulk of its value is locked up in a business where it has no day-to-day control.
The Newbury-based company is likely to use the proceeds from any sale on major acquisitions or a return of cash to shareholders.
It said today: “Vodafone notes the recent press speculation and confirms that it is in discussions with Verizon Communications regarding the possible disposal of Vodafone’s US group whose principal asset is its 45% interest in Verizon Wireless.
“There is no certainty that an agreement will be reached.”
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