Vodafone Group confirmed its anticipated deal to sell its 45 per cent stake in Verizon Wireless to partner Verizon Communications, in a $130 billion (£84 billion) cash and stock deal.
Verizon Communications will pay some $58.9 billion in cash, with $60.2 billion in shares. In addition, $5 billion will be in the form of Verizon loan notes and $2.5 billion through the assumption of debt related to the US business by Verizon Communications. The final $3.5 billion will come from Vodafone taking on Verizon’s 23 per cent stake in Vodafone Italy.
Following completion, Vodafone shareholders will receive all of the Verizon shares and $23.9 billion in cash, meaning 71 per cent of the net proceeds (totalling $84 billion) are given to investors.
As a result of the deal, Vodafone said it intends to implement “a new organic investment programme”, called Project Spring, to “establish further network and service leadership through additional investments of £6 billion over the next three financial years”.
Vittorio Colao, chief executive of Vodafone, highlighted “additional organic investments in 4G, 3G, fibre and broadband, enterprise services and improved customer experience across all of our markets”.
Specifically, the company has noted an accelerated 4G network build, covering 90 per cent of its five main European markets by 2017; deeper 3G coverage and capacity in its mature markets; and additional 3G voice and data coverage in emerging markets.
It also singled out “faster deployment of mobile payment services.”
More details on all the plans will be provided in Vodafone’s interim results presentation in November 2013.
Subject to approvals, the transactions are expected to complete in the first quarter of 2014.