Vodafone, who recently gave up their stake in Verizon, may have a suitor for their UK interests. Softbank, who recently purchased Sprint and is pursion T-Mobile in the US, is reportedly interested in Vodafone’s UK mobile holdings. The reported financial considerations makes the Sprint deal pale by comparison.
Softbank is repotedly interested in Vodafone for a whopping $80 billion. A deal with that structure would be worth roughly four times what Softbank paid for Sprint, but nothing near the stake Vodafone gave up in Verizon. The 45% stake Vodafone had in the largest US carrier netted them $130 billion when they returned it to Verizon, effectively exiting the US market altogether.
There have been several rumors of buyout surrounding Vodafone over the past year. Some put AT&T and Verizon joining forces (ahead of Vodafone giving up ties to Big Red), or AT&T purchasing the UK giant themselves. If the T-Mobile deal has stalled at the feet of the FCC, as some have speculated it might, Softbank may be looking toward the UK for additional mobile coverage.
Softbank is believed to be arranging financing from several Japanese banks, and will make a substantial amount from an Alibaba IPO. There are no indications talks have begun yet, so we’ll wait for additional news before speculating as to the particulars, here.