UK-based Vodafone Group has confirmed today that it is in talks with Verizon Communications to sell its 45% stake in their joint venture, Verizon Wireless, but said that there is no certainty an agreement will be reached. Late last night, the Wall Street Journal reported that the two firms had rekindled talks, citing people familiar with the matter, but Bloomberg has subsequently reported that Verizon Communications is in talks with several banks to raise USD10 billion from each to finance about USD60 billion of the deal. Further, the news agency has assessed that an official announcement could be forthcoming as early as 2 September. Verizon Communications has long sought to buy out its partner, but the companies have never been able to agree on price.
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, the two parties discussed a full combination as recently as December last year, but those talks faltered over disagreements on leadership and the location of the new headquarters. At that time analysts estimated that the stake was worth around USD115 billion, somewhere between Vodafone’s desired USD130 billion price-tag and Verizon’s likely USD100 billion offer.