Vodafone shares jump on prospects of Verizon sale

Vodafone shares jump on prospects of Verizon sale

Shares in Vodafone soared on Monday after the company said it was in "advanced" talks to sell its US wireless joint-venture stake to partner Verizon in a deal worth $130bn. (AFP Photo)

Shares in Vodafone soared on Monday after the company said it was in “advanced” talks to sell its US wireless joint-venture stake to partner Verizon in a deal worth $130bn.
(AFP Photo)

AFP –  Shares in Vodafone soared on Monday after the company said it was in “advanced” talks to sell its US wireless joint-venture stake to partner Verizon in a deal worth $130bn.

The price of shares in the British mobile phone giant rallied by four percent in early morning deals. It later stood at 214.15 pence, up 3.83% from Friday’s closing level.

The FTSE 100 index was 1.31% higher at 6,497.02 points, boosted also by upbeat Chinese economic data and easing worries over Syria.

The Financial Times, citing sources close to the situation, said that both sides had agreed in principle to the Verizon Wireless deal, while Verizon management would meet later on Monday to approve the purchase.

“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,” the group said in a statement released on Sunday.

“The consideration would substantially comprise a mixture of Verizon common stock and cash.

“There is no certainty that an agreement will be reached. A further announcement will be made as soon as practicable.”

The Verizon Wireless transaction would give US fixed-line company Verizon full control after 13 years of shared ownership.

The Wall Street Journal called it the second most important acquisition of all time after Vodafone’s takeover of Mannesmann in 1999 for around $203bn.

The US daily also claimed that the new deal would be announced “Monday afternoon”, quoting a person close to the negotiations.

Verizon spokesman Bob Varettoni on Sunday told AFP that he would not comment on the latest reports.

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