Directors of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) and Vodafone Group PLC (NASDAQ:VOD) may vote as early as this weekend on a mammoth $130 billion deal that would dissolve their joint ownership of Verizon Wireless, Reuters reported Saturday night. Currently, Verizon Communications owns 55 percent and Vodafone owns 45 percent of the No. 1 U.S. wireless provider.
Funded by about $65 billion of debt and a like amount of equity, the long-awaited transaction would give the New York-based Verizon Communications complete ownership of Verizon Wireless and the Newbury, England-based Vodafone a big pile of cash and equity, sources familiar with the terms told Reuters. It also would be the third-largest deal in mergers-and-acquisitions history, ranking behind only the $202.8 billion Vodafone AirTouch acquisition of Mannesmann AG in 1999 and the $164.8 billion America Online acquisition of Time Warner in 2000, based on data published by Investment Week.
Verizon Communications and Vodafone declined to comment to Reuters about the alleged board votes this weekend, the news agency said. However, its sources suggested the transaction could be OK’d by the directors by Monday.
At the market close on Friday, Verizon Communications’ share price was down 44 cents, or 0.92 percent, to $47.38, while Vodaphone’s share price was up 55 cents, or 1.73 percent, to $32.35.