“Shares in Vodafone rose almost 3 percent on Tuesday after its partner in U.S. joint venture Verizon Wireless said it would be “feasible” to buy out the British group in what would be one of the biggest corporate deals ever.
Verizon Communications Chief Executive Lowell McAdam told The Wall Street Journalthat “we have always said we would love to own all of that asset”, which is 55 percent owned by Verizon Communications and 45 percent by Vodafone.
Investors in both groups have long speculated about the future of Verizon Wireless’s ownership, especially after Vodafone embarked on a programming of selling stakes in businesses around the world that it did not control.
That was aimed at streamlining its portfolio and returning cash to shareholders who felt the company’s share price did not reflect the sum of its many individual parts.
The two parent groups have also clashed in recent years over when and whether Verizon Wireless should pay its two owners a dividend and the comments from McAdam are likely to reignite the issue.
“I think 1/8a deal 3/8 is feasible,” he told the newspaper. “Our wireline business is getting stronger and as that gets stronger, it makes it easier.”
McAdam added that Verizon could buy the stake outright, or there are “lots of different ways we could do it…”Twitter