Verizon denies plans to merge with Vodafone

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ES in Vodafone slumped yesterday, after Verizon Communications’ top executive poured cold water on suggestions that the pair could merge.

Asked about the benefits of merging with Vodafone – its partner in joint venture Verizon Wireless – chief executive Ivan Seidenberg said there would be few benefits to such a deal.

“Absent of new information, a merger doesn’t seem to have a lot of appeal,” he said.

Verizon owns 55 per cent of Verizon Wireless, a US mobile phone network, while Vodafone – run by chief executive Vittorio Colao – owns 45 per cent.

Analysts have long suggested that Verizon could be pressured to pay Vodafone a dividend for its stake in Verizon Wireless as the venture has not paid a dividend since 2005. Once that issue is resolved, analysts say the pair could then merge.

Shares in Vodafone fell by 1.4 per cent to 149.65, against a 0.62 per cent rise for London’s FTSE 100 index.