Vodafone Confirms $100 Billion Verizon Deal 'Possible'

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Vodafone might be about to carry out one of the largest corporate transactions of all time.

The deal would see the mobile network giant leave the US market.

Shares in the mobile phone giant jumped 9% after it said it was in discussions with US partner, Verizon Communications, over a sale of its 45% stake in Verizon Wireless, which is America's largest mobile phone operator.

It is thought that Verizon wants to pay around 100 billion US dollars (£64.4 billion) for the stake, although reports have said that Vodafone is pressing for as much as 130 billion US dollars (£83.8 billion). This compares with AOL's record 164 billion US dollar (£105 billion) takeover of Time Warner in 2001.

Vodafone has a market worth of just under £100 billion, which means the bulk of its value is locked up in a business where it has no day-to-day control.

The Newbury-based company is likely to use the proceeds from any sale on major acquisitions or a return of cash to shareholders.

It said today: "Vodafone notes the recent press speculation and confirms that it is in discussions with Verizon Communications regarding the possible disposal of Vodafone's US group whose principal asset is its 45% interest in Verizon Wireless.

"There is no certainty that an agreement will be reached."

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