Vodafone stake to cost Verizon at least $100bn

A DEAL to buy Vodafone’s stake in Verizon Wireless (VZW), the US mobile operator in which it owns a 45 per cent stake, is expected to cost majority owner Verizon Communications north of $100bn (£65bn).

Just three years ago Vodafone’s VZW stake was valued at around £33bn but yesterday reports suggested the price will be at least twice that. The US telecoms firm has made no secret of its desire to buy the stake, but a deal looks set to be costly.

One person close to negotiations even said that reports of a $100bn value were far below the mark, and that £100bn would be closer. “They have got the right number but the wrong currency,” the person said.

The parties did not comment, but Vodafone shares rose 1.7 per cent yesterday on the speculation, reaching highs not seen since 2002.