It's long been rumored that Verizon Communications is interested in buying out partner Vodafone's 45 percent stake in their Verizon Wireless joint venture. The two companies have reportedly held talks about such a deal in the past, but so far we've yet to see anything serious materialize. That could change soon, though, as new reports claim that not only have negotiations between Verizon and Vodafone reignited, but that they may have become more serious in recent months.
Sources speaking to the Wall Street Journal claim that Verizon Communications and Vodafone have once again begun talks about a potential Verizon buyout of Vodafone's stake in VZW. Verizon has reportedly started talking with banks about the multi-billion dollar loan that it would take out to complete such a deal, suggesting that the talks may be getting more serious. The WSJ's tipsters claim that an agreement could be reached "in the near term."
In a separate report, Bloomberg characterizes the talks between Verizon and Vodafone as being "advanced." The publication's sources say that Verizon is in talks with several banks to raise a total of $60 billion and that, in total, Verizon could end up paying "about $130 billion" for Vodafone's stake in Verizon Wireless. It's said that an official announcement of the buyout could come as soon as Sept. 2.
Price has been a sticking point between Verizon and Vodafone in the past, with the former looking to spend $100 billion while the latter is seeking around $130 billion. It sounds like Verizon may be willing to raise its bid this time around, though, which could finally result in a deal between Verizon and Vodafone. Stay tuned.
UPDATE: Vodafone has confirmed that it's in talks with Verizon Communications to sell its 45 percent stake in Verizon Wireless. The company didn't disclose any information regarding the discussions, saying only that "there is no certainty that an agreement will be reached."