4/3/2013 10:16:30 AM
No Verizon takeover of Vodafone...for now
Verizon has denied it is set to bid for Vodafone, as rumours the biggest takeover in history was imminent.
Vodafone shares had hit a 10 year high after weeks of speculation about it being taken over by its US rival. Recent reports suggested Verizon would team up with fellow American operator AT&T to mount a break-up bid. Verizon has been keen in buying out Vodafone's lucrative 45% share in Verizon Wireless but a full takeover would have been worth £161bn, far outpacing AOL's £120bn of Time Warner in 2000.
However, in a statement issued on Tuesday, Verizon said while it remained interested in buying out Verizon Wireless, it said it did not 'currently have any intention to merge with or make an offer for Vodafone, whether alone or in conjunction with others'. This means it will be at least six months before it can table a bid, unless Vodafone's board recommends it or a rival steps into the fray.
However, reports have suggested talks will continue about the future of Verizon Wireless' ownership. Whether Vodafone would be prepared to sell its share remains to be seen. Its stake in the business has been seen as a successful hedge against the continuing difficulties it faces in the southern European markets.
Author: Graeme Neill