Another 'almost' Vodafone sale of its stake in Verizon Wireless

It's been said before, and it might happen sometime soon, but Vodafone said it will not bow to recent pressure from its shareholders to cash out its 45 percent stake in Verizon Wireless--at least not right now. After all, the estimated $44.6 billion stake might be worth more later, so we'll wait and see. Vodafone said it wants to maximize the value of its stake in the No. 2 U.S. carrier.

These talks have been swirling since 2002. Most memorable, perhaps, is Vodafone's February 2004 almost withdrawal from Verizon Wireless. Newly empowered CEO Arun Sarin made a surprise $38 billion bid for AT&T Wireless, and part of the deal was to withdraw from Verizon Wireless. Neither happened. Now Sarin says he can't part with the stake just yet since its value has increased by $10 million a year for the last two years. Verizon Wireless also added a record 2 million customers during the October to December quarter. It won't happen today, but Sarin said, "We're not saying we will not sell this asset in the future..."

For more on Vodafone's Verizon Wireless stake:
- read this article from the Guardian