Verizon denies Vodafone buyout report

Verizon denies that it's considering buying out Vodafone — and the U.K. carrier's shares plummet as a result.

A recent report which suggested Verizon Communications and AT&T were considering a joint buyout offer for Vodafone has been denied.


Originally reported by The Financial Times, which cited "usually reliable people," the deal was said to be worth $245 billion. Verizon and AT&T would offer $3.93 a share, which translates as roughly a 40 percent premium on the firm's current share price.

Under the deal, it was reported that Verizon would snap up a 45 percent stake in the U.K. carrier, taking over the American side of operations. Vodafone's operations outside of the United States would have then gone to AT&T.

However, in response to media reports, Verizon stated in a regulatory filing:

"As Verizon has said many times, it would be a willing purchaser of the 45 percent stake that Vodafone holds in Verizon Wireless. It does not, however, currently have any intention to merge with or make an offer for Vodafone, whether alone or in conjunction with others."

The reports, however, did not go unnoticed by investors. As Bloomberg reports, Vodafone shares slid by 3.2 percent after official denial, although share prices originally jumped by six percent on the release of buyout speculation reports.

According to the publication, a full merger was considered by Verizon and Vodafone last year, but management discrepancies and conflict over headquarter locations resulted in talks turning stagnant. Instead, Verizon is far more interested in securing control of Verizon Wireless — while the carrier's 45 percent stake is estimated to be worth approximately $115 billion. However, as Vodafone CEO Vittorio Colao said in February, a wide range of options in the U.K. carrier's future is possible. To this end, the CEO said his firm is willing to keep an open mind "on everything."


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