Verizon, Vodafone to announce $130 billion U.S. deal on Monday

Sun Sep 1, 2013 5:23pm EDT
 
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By Soyoung Kim and Kate Holton

NEW YORK/LONDON (Reuters) - Verizon Communications and Vodafone plan to announce a $130 billion deal on Monday that will give the U.S. telecom giant complete control of Verizon Wireless, subject to final board approval, people familiar with the matter said.

Vodafone said in a statement late on Sunday it was in advanced talks with Verizon to sell its 45 percent stake in the joint venture for $130 billion, comprising cash and common shares, but that there was no certainty an agreement would be reached.

"A further announcement will be made as soon as practicable," it said of the deal to exit the largest mobile operator in the U.S..

Under the terms of the proposed agreement, Vodafone would get $60 billion in cash, $60 billion in Verizon stock, and an additional $10 billion from smaller transactions that will take the total deal value to $130 billion, two of the people familiar with the matter said on Saturday.

To fund the cash portion of the deal, Verizon has lined up as much as $65 billion in financing from four banks: JPMorgan Chase & Co, Morgan Stanley, Barclays Plc and Bank of America Merrill Lynch, they said. The banks have committed to the financing which is expected be split evenly among the four, two people said.

A full announcement of the terms is expected to come after the stock market closes in London on Monday, after the board of Verizon meets earlier in the day to vote on the proposed transaction, people familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Vodafone's board was scheduled to meet on Sunday to approve the deal, the people said. Both groups declined to comment.

If the deal is concluded, it will end one of the longest-running corporate standoffs, which has at times seen both partners seek to buy out the other in times of weakness. For Verizon, it means that it no longer has to share the billions in cash generated by Verizon Wireless.   Continued...

 
The Droid Mini, Droid Ultra and Droid Maxx are seen on display during the Verizon Wireless media event in New York July 23, 2013. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton