Verizon Communications reportedly weighing $100 billion bid for Vodafone's stake in Verizon WirelessAlex Wagner - Deputy Managing Editor, News Desk
Earlier this year, a report claimed that Verizon Communications is interested in resolving its Verizon Wireless joint venture with Vodafone sometime this year. There hasn't been much said about the situation since then, but tonight a new rumor is claiming that Verizon Communications has hired advisers to help it put together a bid for the 45 percent of Verizon Wireless that it doesn't already own.
Sources speaking to Reuters say that Verizon Communications has hired banking and legal advisers to aid it in preparing an offer for Vodafone that could consist of $100 billion in cash and stock. Verizon hasn't formally approached Vodafone about the offer yet, but the sources say that Verizon would like to start some "friendly discussions" about a possible deal soon. If Vodafone isn't interested in the talks, which the tipsters say is possible, Verizon could take its bid public.
Verizon Communications and Vodafone have been involved in the joint Verizon Wireless venture since 2000, and Verizon has shown interest in taking over Vodafone's portion of the partnership every now and then since. The sources of tonight's report say that Verizon is now ready to aggressively push for a deal with Vodafone, though, and that Verizon's board of directors is expected to discuss the details of a possible bid for Verizon Wireless at a meeting next week.
There have been quite a few major deals flying around the wireless world lately, including Sprint and SoftBank's agreement, Dish's bid for Sprint, Sprint's attempt to acquire Clearwire and the merger of T-Mobile and MetroPCS, the last of which is slated to reach completion in the coming days. Because of all of these deals going on, Verizon may feel that the time is right for it to push to buy out Vodafone's portion of Verizon Wireless. Whether or not such a deal actually happens remains to be seen, but it'll be interesting to see what Verizon does if it ends up aggressively pushing for an agreement with Vodafone.