Vodafone eyes £3bn payout from Verizon

VODAFONE could be set for a $4.5bn (£2.9bn) payout from its investment in American telecoms network Verizon Wireless, after US regulators gave the green light to the mobile operator’s expansion.

America’s justice department agreed to Verizon Wireless’s purchase of extra spectrum from its rivals last week and analysts believe this will yield a healthy dividend. Wireless is 45 per cent controlled by Vodafone with the rest owned by US firm Verizon Communications.

After Vodafone’s shareholders demanded greater returns from the venture at last month’s annual meeting, chairman Gerard Kleisterlee admitted Vodafone’s relationship with its US partner sometimes meant “very difficult discussions”. As Verizon Communications owns a majority stake in Wireless, it decides on payouts. The decision on the payout could be made at the venture’s next board meeting in September.