Verizon, Vodafone reportedly ironing out $130B wireless deal
A deal giving Verizon complete ownership of Verizon Wireless could be announced as early as Monday, according to multiple reports.
Verizon's on-again, off-again talks to acquire Vodafone's share of Verizon Wireless may finally result in a deal.
The two companies are set to vote this weekend on a $130 billion deal that would give Verizon complete ownership of Verizon Wireless, according to reports from Reuters and Bloomberg. If the boards of both companies approve the deal, an agreement could be announced as early as Monday, said the reports.
Verizon has for years sought to buy out Vodafone's 45 percent stake in Verizon Wireless, which is the No. 1 wireless provider in the United State and the fastest-growing and most profitable part of Verizon. Meanwhile, Vodafone has angled for a better return from the asset.
When contacted by CNET, Verizon and Vodafone declined to comment.
Verizon plans to use its own stock to pay for half of the purchase, sources told Reuters, and will get the other $65 billion from "JPMorgan Chase & Co, Morgan Stanley, Barclays Plc and Bank of America Merrill Lynch to help raise the funds through a mix of bonds and bank loans."
Reports that the two companies were again in talks, spurred by rising interest rates,. In April, Verizon reportedly hired banking and legal advisers to put together a $100 billion bid for Vodafone's share of the company, but talks broke down because Vodafone wanted $130 billion.
If both companies agree to the $130 billion deal, it would be one of the largest corporate acquisitions of all time, but it would also mark UK-based Vodafone's exit from the US market. The Wall Street Journal reports that Vodafone would likely use the money to "rebuild and expand" its European business, but the company also has assets in emerging markets such as Africa, India and Turkey.
Update, 11:27 a.m. PT: Adds additional details and background.
Update, 1:18 p.m. PT: Adds Vodafone declining to comment.