Vodafone confirms talks with Verizon on multibillion pound sale

Shares in British telecoms company Vodafone jumped to a 12-year high in trading this morning after it confirmed speculation it was in discussions to sell off its stake in Verizon Wireless for more than $100bn (£64bn).

Verizon Wireless is the second largest mobile network operator in the US, and is 55 per cent owned by Verizon Communications and 45 per cent owned by Vodafone.

Vodafone's confirmation of widespread speculation it is in talks with Verizon sent shares up nine per cent in early London trading, boosting its value by around £8bn.

Verizon reportedly wants to buy Vodafone's 45 per cent stake in Verizon Wireless for $100bn, while Vodafone wants something closer to $130bn. Analysts see a deal at the upper end of this range.

If Verizon buys the whole stake, it could have the additional benefit of saving Vodafone around $35bn in taxes.

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