It might come as a surprise to you to learn that Vodafone own 45% of Verizon, which you all know to be the largest wireless carrier in the US. Who are Vodafone? Well, readers in Europe and Australia will know the name well but, in this context they’re a fantastically large International Wireless Giant that has stakes in wireless companies all over the world. In fact, if you go travelling throughout Europe there’s a good chance that you’ll come across Vodafone in more than one nation.
There’s a lot of movement happening in the Wireless Industry right now, especially in the States, with the T-Mobile and MetroPCS merger now approved by shareholders and Sprint looking to get a much-needed shot in the arm from Softbank. It only stands to reason then that Vodafone want to show their strength and buy out their old pal from a large chunk of their shares. It’s also something that Verizon have been wanting to do for quite some time, as far back as 2006 there have been talks of the company buying out Vodafone’s stake in the company.
Reuters are reporting that Verizon have $50 Billion raised in bank funding and $50 Billion from its own shares to put together a sizable figure to put to Vodafone. Friendly talks are said to start “soon” and that if Vodafone aren’t biting then they will take their bid public. A hefty tax bill might be holding them back a little however, Big Red’s CFO has said that it could be avoided which would give Verizon a little more room to maneuver in the deal.
It’s an exciting time right now for the US Wireless Industry, T-Mobile have shaken things up with their new business model and of course, the merger with MetroPCS should be able to help them compete, while Sprint is looking to get a big boost from Softbank. For the first time in a long time, things are changing, and the landscape in a couple of years might look a lot different than it does now.