Vodafone to get windfall from Verizon stake

VODAFONE has been handed a $3.2bn (£2.1bn) windfall from Verizon Wireless (VZW), the US joint venture at the centre of takeover speculation.

VZW yesterday said that it would pay a $7bn dividend, the third straight year it has handed its owners a windfall. Vodafone owns 45 per cent of VZW, with the rest owned by Verizon Communications, the US telecoms giant.

Verizon Communications, which has appointed advisers on a potential £100bn purchase of Vodafone’s stake, recently warned that it would be a “lean” year for dividends from VZW. However, although the payout is less than in the previous two years, it is not as low as might have been expected.

The windfall, due in June, will enable Vodafone to remain the FTSE 100’s most generous dividend payer, should it wish. It will also underline the value of its stake in VZW as talk of a sale to Verizon Communications hots up.

“Vodafone will provide an update on how it plans to utilise this dividend at the time of its preliminary results announcement on 21 May 2013,” the firm said.