Vodafone and Verizon are negotiating the sale of Vodafone’s 45% stake in US cellco Verizon Wireless, the UK-headquartered operator confirmed yesterday.
A brief statement verified talks are taking place between the parent companies regarding a disposal of Vodafone’s US division, which counts its 45% Verizon Wireless holding as its main asset.
Vodafone issued the statement to quell press speculation about the deal, which is tipped to net the UK operator between $100 billion (€75.5 billion) and $130 billion, the BBC reports.
Selling the Verizon Wireless stake is something of a double edged sword for Vodafone. In the near term, it would provide some much needed cash the operator could use to prop up its ailing European businesses, and perhaps help finance a recent deal to acquire Kabel Deutschland.
However, the carrier would have to find new sources of revenue to replace income from the US business if it sells. Verizon Wireless was one of the bright spots in Vodafone’s calendar 2Q, with revenue from the venture up 7.5% year-on-year, bucking a fall in Vodafone’s total revenue for the quarter.