TELECOMS FIRM Vodafone has confirmed that it is in talks with Verizon about parting with its US interests for $130bn (£84bn).
Vodafone said that it is in "advanced discussions" to offload its ownership share, adding that the deal would cover all of its 45 percent stake in Verizon.
"Vodafone confirms that it is in advanced discussions with Verizon Communications Inc. regarding the disposal of Vodafone's US group whose principal asset is its 45 [percent] interest in Verizon Wireless for US$130 billion," it said in a statement. "The consideration would substantially comprise a mixture of Verizon common stock and cash."
Earlier this year it looked possible that Vodafone would seek to increase its stake in the US company. However, it appears that the opposite is true, and that Verizon shareholders can expect Vodafone to give up its interest.
Vodafone won't confirm the sale yet, and possibly not until ink hits paper. "There is no certainty that an agreement will be reached," it added. "A further announcement will be made as soon as practicable."
The suggestion is that the firm will wait until later today, when the London Stock Exchange closes. It is Labor Day in the US, which might have delayed an announcement. However, this appears to be unlikely.
Talk of the sale can be traced back for over a decade. Back in 2002 the Independent on Sunday reported that a £1.2 billion deal was on the cards.
It's thought that the deal on the table will yield Vodafone over fifty times that amount in cash. µ
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