Verizon Communications is pursuing full ownership of Verizon Wireless by buying out Vodafone's stake.
Sang Tan/ AP Photo/ File
Verizon Communications is back at the table to finally buy out the rest of its stake in Verizon Wireless from UK mobile carrier Vodafone Group PLC in what could be the third-biggest merger-and-acquisitions deal of all time.
Verizon, the number one U.S. mobile carrier, has made no secret of its desire to gain full ownership of a network that is growing fast and generating billions of dollars in free cash flow, but the companies have tussled over how to value such a deal.
Vodafone’s Chief Executive Vittorio Colao has bided his time, waiting for the optimal moment to sell the 45 percent stake in a deal that would leave the world's second largest mobile operator with assets in Europe and emerging markets such as India, Turkey and Africa.
Verizon and Vodafone were discussing a sale for around $130 billion in talks that had resumed a few weeks ago, according to a person familiar with the situation, who asked not to be named. The person said on Thursday that an announcement could come as soon as the first week of September. A second source said the announcement could come on Sept. 2.
A third person familiar with the matter cautioned that while the companies had made progress, some issues around taxes, price and structure would still need to be ironed out. There remained a chance that something could happen in the coming week, the source said.
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