February 2, 2015 / 8:04 PM / 3 years ago

Verizon close to deals to sell over $10 billion in assets: WSJ

A woman uses her mobile phone in central London September 2, 2013. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth

(Reuters) - Verizon Communications Inc (VZ.N) is nearing wrapping up deals to sell more than $10 billion in assets, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

The planned sales include cellphone towers and parts of its landline phone business, the WSJ reported. (on.wsj.com/1Akj7ct)

As Verizon focuses on updating its network, the company would consider selling cellphone towers if it found an attractive deal, chief executive Lowell McAdam said on a January call with investors.

“There are certain assets on the wireline side that we think would be better off in somebody else’s hands so we can focus our energy in a little bit more narrow geography,” McAdam said.

Divesting assets could also help Verizon repurchase some shares it issued after it announced the Vodafone deal, he added.

Different buyers are involved in the deals, which could be announced late this week, the WSJ added.

A Verizon spokesman declined to comment.

The largest U.S. carrier purchased 181 licenses worth $10.4 billion in the AWS-3 spectrum auction that closed last week. In 2013, Verizon announced its plans to acquire the 45 percent stake in Verizon Wireless that it did not already own from Vodafone for $130 billion.

The company has been exploring steps to speed up its debt repayment in recent months.

Reporting by Anya George Tharakan in Bengaluru and Liana B. Baker in New York and Malathi Nayak in San Francisco; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Diane Craft

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