Verizon talking buyout deal with Vodafone again?

After the two companies reportedly couldn't agree on a price, it seems that rising interest rates are sparking new discussions on a deal that could cost Verizon more than $100 billion.

A Verizon Wireless store in South Arlington, Texas. Verizon Wireless

A deal that previously was thought to have fizzled may be heating back up. Verizon is reportedly in buyout talks with Vodafone once again, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.

Sources familiar with the matter told the Journal that Verizon is currently reaching out to banks about loans of tens of billions of dollars for the deal.

Verizon Wireless, which is jointly owned by Verizon and Vodafone, has for years sought to buy out Vodafone's stake in the company. Meanwhile Vodafone has agitated for a better return from the fast-growing asset.

Over the past few months, it appeared that the two companies were in talks over a buyout deal that could cost Verizon more than $100 billion. But, recently, it seemed that option was put on ice. However, rising interest rates seem to have spurred a new conversation between the two companies, according to the Journal.

In March, it was reported that the two companies were having informal discussions that included talk of a buyout as well as a possible merger. And in April, Verizon reportedly hired banking and legal advisers to put together a $100 billion bid for Vodafone's share of the company. Verizon was allegedly planning to raise about $50 billion from bank financing and the rest of the bid would come from the company's stock.

The value of Vodafone's stake in Verizon Wireless has been pegged at $115 billion, according to analysts. The talks reportedly cooled because the two companies couldn't agree on a price. Verizon was hoping to pay $100 billion, while Vodafone wanted $130 billion, according to the Journal.

Now, with rising interest rates it appears that the two companies see the value in reaching a deal quickly. Since Verizon would be borrowing a big chunk of the cash for the alleged deal, it would make sense to pay Vodafone before rates get even higher.

When contacted by CNET, Verizon declined to comment. CNET also contacted Vodafone for comment and we'll update the story when we get more information.

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About the author

Dara Kerr is a staff writer for CNET focused on the sharing economy and tech culture. She grew up in Colorado where she developed an affinity for collecting fool's gold and spirit animals.

 

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