Report: Vodafone talking to shareholders about Verizon's future

Vodafone will begin holding discussions next month with key shareholders over the fate of Verizon Wireless, its joint venture with Verizon Communications, and will evaluate the possibility of a merger, according to a report in the Sunday Telegraph.

Without citing sources, the report said that after Vodafone delivers its full-year results May 18, Vodafone CEO Vittorio Colao will meet with the multinational carrier's main investors, including BlackRock, Axa and Legal & General, to discuss Verizon Wireless. According to the report, a merger remains a distinct possibility, as does a decision by Verizon to buy Vodafone's 45 percent stake.

Last week, Verizon Communications CEO Ivan Seidenberg said a merger did not make sense at this point. "There's no compelling reason for investors to think this is an exciting thing to do," he said at a conference in New York hosted by the Council on Foreign Relations. He said global wireless companies such as Vodafone have trouble cashing in on economies of scale. However, Seidenberg noted that his position might change, and that no decision has been made.

A Verizon spokesman declined to comment, and pointed to Seidenberg's remarks. A Vodafone spokesman declined to comment.

For more:
- see this Daily Telegraph article

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