Vodafone has confirmed that it is in talks to sell Verizon its 45 percent stake in the Verizon Wireless joint venture. Vodafone cautioned, however, that a deal is not a certainty.
Bloomberg reports that the carriers have valued Vodafone’s share of the company at $130 billion and are in advanced discussions now. Verizon is reportedly working to secure about $60 billion in financing.
Verizon declined to commment on the matter.
After months of specualtion, the reports were enough to send shares of Vodafone soaring almost 10 percent to its highest price since 2002. Verizon was up over 5 percent in opening trading Thursday to $48.90.
Rumors and a range of reports about Verizon moving on Vodafone’s share of Verizon Wireless have surfaced for months. In April, Verizon came out and denied on of the more outlandish of those rumors when a Financial Times report claimed the carrier would team up with AT&T on a possible buyout of Vodafone.
A post on the Financial Times’ Alaphaville blog cited “usually reliable people” who said Verizon Communications and AT&T were mulling a breakup bid for Vodafone.
Verizon President and CEO Lowell McAdam has made no secret of the fact that he would like to own Vodafone’s share of Verizon Wireless, but the business has proved too valuable for struggling Vodafone to let go.
Verizon made a failed attempt to purchase Vodafone’s stake in the business back in 2006.