Verizon to buy out Vodafone's stake in mobile unit for $130bn

The cash-and-stock deal will give Verizon Communications 100 per cent ownership of its mobile unit

Verizon Communications has reached an agreement to buy Vodafone Group's 45 percent stake in its Verizon Wireless subsidiary for US$130 billion.

Under the deal, Verizon will take 100 per cent ownership of the wireless unit, the largest mobile operator in the US. This will enhance its ability to offer customers "seamless and integrated services," the carrier said in a press release.

The transaction has been unanimously approved by the boards of both companies and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2014, subject to customary regulatory approvals. Verizon will pay a combination of cash and stock for Vodafone's stake.

"As a wholly owned entity, Verizon Wireless will be better equipped to take advantage of the changing competitive dynamics in the market and capitalize on the continuing evolution of consumer demand for wireless, video and broadband services," Verizon Chairman and CEO Lowell McAdam said in the press release.

"This transaction allows both Vodafone and Verizon to execute on their long-term strategic objectives," Vodafone Group CEO Vittorio Colao said in the release. "Our two companies have had a long and successful partnership and have grown Verizon Wireless into a market leader with great momentum. We wish Lowell and the Verizon team continuing success over the years ahead."

Verizon has sought to buy out its wireless business, originally formed as a joint venture with Vodafone, for several years. The transaction is unlikely to have a significant impact on U.S. mobile consumers, industry analysts said last week. Vodafone may use the huge windfall to buy smaller carriers and further its pursuit of wireline operations, analysts said.

Stephen Lawson covers mobile, storage and networking technologies for The IDG News Service. Follow Stephen on Twitter at @sdlawsonmedia. Stephen's e-mail address is stephen_lawson@idg.com

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Tags business issuestelecommunicationCarriersVodafone GroupmobileVerizon CommunicationsMergers and acquisitionsVerizon Wireless

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