Voda Nets $130bn From Sale of Verizon Wireless Stake

As expected, Vodafone has reached an agreement to sell its 45 per cent stake in Verizon Wireless to Verizon Communications, for $130bn (£84bn), making this one of the biggest deals in recent history. Verizon is paying $58.9bn cash, with $60.2bn of Verizon shares making up most of the remainder. Vodafone is, in fact, disposing of its US group, whose principal asset was the 45 per cent investment in Verizon wireless. 

Vodafone’s stake in Verizon Wireless stemmed from its purchase of AirTouch for $61bn in 1999. Air Touch’s US assets were subsequently merged with Bell Atantic’s cellular operations to form Verizon Wireless.

Commenting on the deal, Vodafone group chairman Gerald Kleisterlee said that Vodafone’s  sustained investment in Verizon Wireless had created a great deal of value for shareholders from a market leader with great momentum. 

“Verizon’s offer now provides us with an opportunity to realise this value at an attractive price,” said Kleisterlee. “The transaction will position Vodafone strongly to pursue our leadership strategy in mobile and unified communication services for consumers and enterprises both in our developed markets and across our emerging markets businesses. It will also enable us to provide substantial returns to individual shareholders and to the investment funds relied upon by savers and pensioners.”

Vofafone said it intends to implement a new organic investment programme called Project Spring to establish network and service leadership through additional investments of £6bn over the next three financial years.