Ver­i­zon seeks full con­trol of Voda­fone

The Pak Banker - - 6BUSINESS -

Ver­i­zon Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Inc. (VZ)’s ef­fort to re­solve its re­la­tion­ship with Voda­fone (VOD) Group Plc, po­ten­tially end­ing their wire­less joint ven­ture, would put it on a path to full own­er­ship of the most prof­itable and fastest-grow­ing ma­jor wire­less car­rier in the U.S.

The two phone com­pa­nies have dis­cussed a range of op­tions, in­clud­ing the idea of Ver­i­zon ac­quir­ing 100 per­cent of their U.S. wire­less part­ner­ship, peo­ple fa­mil­iar with the sit­u­a­tion said. Voda­fone’s 45 per­cent stake in the ven­ture, called Ver­i­zon Wire­less, could fetch $115 bil­lion, ac­cord­ing to an­a­lysts. Voda­fone jumped as much as 7.4 per­cent for its steep­est gain in four years, adding more than $9 bil­lion in mar­ket value.

For Voda­fone, the sale would be a cul­mi­na­tion of ef­forts by Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer Ver­i­zon is ea­ger to take over the unit this year, giv­ing the New York-based com­pany greater con­trol over its most prof­itable di­vi­sion, said the peo­ple, who asked not to be named be­cause the dis­cus­sions are pri­vate. Ver­i­zon Wire­less added a record 2.1 mil­lion sub­scribers last quar­ter, eclips­ing the growth of AT&T Inc. (T) and other ri­vals, and the wire­less ser­vice gen­er­ated an earn­ings mar­gin of more than 41 per­cent.

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