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Verizon, Vodafone Reach $130 Billion Deal To Buy Wireless Unit Stake

Verizon Communications reached a $130 billion deal to buy out the 45 percent stake in Verizon Wireless it does not already own from Vodafone Group, The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday, saying an announcement could come as early as Monday.

Reuters reported Saturday that Verizon planned to raise about $65 billion to fund the purchase, according to people familiar with the matter.

Boards of Verizon and Vodafone met this weekend to approve the proposed transaction, the people said.

Verizon has tapped JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, Barclays, and Bank of America/Merrill Lynch to help raise the financing through a mix of bonds and bank loans, the sources said.

It plans to pay for another half of the purchase with its own stock.

The four banks are also advising Verizon, along with former Morgan Stanley banker Paul Taubman and Guggenheim Partners, sources told Reuters.

Goldman Sachs and UBS are advising Vodafone, the sources said.

Verizon and Vodafone declined to comment. Goldman Sachs declined comment, as well. The other banks were not immediately available for comment.

Under the terms of the deal, Verizon Communications will buy Vodafone's U.S. holding company, Vodafone Americas, that owns the Verizon Wireless stake and some other assets, the sources said.

Verizon will then keep the Verizon Wireless stake and sell European assets back to Vodafone, in a move that is expected to reduce Vodafone's tax bill to around $5 billion, the sources said.

The deal marks the third-largest acquisition announcement in corporate history and British telecom giant Vodafone's exit from the large but mature U.S. market.


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