Verizon seeks full control of Vodafone
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.