Vodafone ends its decade in the US, sells stake in Verizon to focus on Europe

After a decade of having its hand in the US market, Vodafone is selling its 45 per cent stake in Verizon Wireless to Verizon Communications. The Wall Street Journal reports preliminary agreements for the deal were reached over the weekend, a substantial move that had been rumoured for years. (Update below)

Vodafone's 45 per cent stake in Verizon Wireless has been sold for a whopping $130 billion, as Vodafone looks to refocus in the European market.

The deal was reached by negotiators of both companies over the weekend and votes from the boards of Vodafone and Verizon are expected on Monday. An official announcement of the deal could come as soon as Monday afternoon. 

The deal will give Verizon Wireless complete control over its US operation. Vodafone will get a huge return that it can use to continue its influence across the pond. For Verizon, it will require fundraising and also funding the deal with stock.

Dealogic says the $60 billion cash component of the Vodafone-Verizon deal will be the largest cash amount ever used in the acquisition of a company. It's the second largest acquisition ever, behind a $172 billion acquisition of Mannesmann AG by Vodafone in 1999.

Pocket-lint has reached out for comment from both Verizon Wireless and Vodafone.

If the $130 billion is approved by both boards on Monday, antitrust regulators would still need to examine the deal. Since Verizon Wireless owns the majority 55 per cent, not many hurdles are to be expected.

Verizon Wireless customers shouldn't notice any difference if the deal is completed. The Wall Street Journal says the real impact will be on Wall Street where Verizon will have to muster some serious cash from investors to fund the cash portion of the deal.

Update: Verizon announced on Monday the deal is official, expected to close in first quarter of 2014. The transaction will provide Verizon with 100 per cent ownership of its brand.

“This transaction will enhance value across platforms and allow Verizon to operate more efficiently, so we can continue to focus on producing more seamless and integrated products and solutions for our customers," said Lowell McAdam, Verizon chairman and CEO.