Vodafone has declined to comment on a new report claiming US operator Verizon Communications has hired advisors to prepare a possible $100 billion bid to take full control of Verizon Wireless.
The Reuters report claims that Verizon – which already owns 55 percent of Verizon Wireless – has not yet officially approached the remaining shareholder Vodafone with the cash and stock proposal but has hired banking and legal advisors.
The report adds that Verizon would buy Vodafone’s US holding company that owns the British group’s Verizon Wireless interest as well as some other assets in countries such as Germany and Spain.
One of Reuters’ sources noted that Verizon’s board is expected to discuss details of a potential Verizon Wireless buyout next week at a scheduled meeting which will be held ahead of the company’s annual shareholder meeting.
A senior Vodafone spokesperson this morning told Mobile World Live that the company is “not providing comment on the Reuters report”.
This is just the latest development in a long history of speculation surrounding the ownership of Verizon Wireless. Earlier this month reports spread that Verizon and AT&T had been studying a possible joint takeover of Vodafone’s entire operation, with the deal structured so that Verizon got hold of Vodafone’s 45 per cent stake in the Verizon Wireless joint venture while AT&T took Vodafone’s assets outside the US.
In a reactive statement at the time, Verizon reiterated its interest in Vodafone’s 45 per cent stake in the Verizon Wireless US joint venture but said it didn’t currently have any intention “to merge with or make an offer for Vodafone, whether alone or in conjunction with others”.