Verizon Communications and Vodafone are expected to make an announcement of what could be one of the biggest corporate deals of all time. The $130 billion deal will put a stop to the almost never-ending struggle for control over Verizon Wireless.
Verizon Wireless is jointly owned by both Verizon Communications and UK-based Vodafone, with the latter owning a 45 percent stake in the mobile operator. In 2004, Vodafone was said to be in talks to buy AT&T’s mobile business which would force it to relinquish its hold on Verizon Wireless. But ever since negotiations fell through, Verizon has had on and off discussions with Vodafone in an attempt to gain full control, and keep all profits, of Verizon Wireless.
It seems that the stars have finally aligned and Verizon will be paying Vodafone $60 billion in cash, $60 billion in Verizon stock, and $10 billion for other smaller transactions. A top 10 Vodafone investor approves of this amount, praising Vodafone CEO Vittorio Colao for not giving in to public opinion and selling its stake years ago. Colao waited for the right time when the price would be attractive to its shareholders.
Neither camp has commented on the leaked information, but Vodafone’s board was said to have met on Sunday while Verizon’s board is set to meet early Monday. Once approved, the announcement is expected to be made after the stock market in London closes on Monday.