Another round of talk regarding Verizon buying out Vodafone surfaced at the end of last week, and although mention was made of the bid being increased over previous negotiations, there was no reason to think this time things would work out differently. Even Vodafone said it didn’t know if the talks would get very far. However, things have progressed, and Verizon has issued a statement saying it has reached an agreement with Vodafone, and will be acquiring its 45 percent share for $130 billion.
Described as a, “definitive agreement,” the deal has been unanimously approved by both Vodafone’s and Verizon’s board of directors. Verizon will purchase Vodafone’s share using a combination of nearly $60 billion in cash and the rest in stocks, plus confirming speculation from last week, the deal also includes Verizon giving up its 23 percent share in Vodafone Italy.
Verizon’s CEO Lowell McAdam said by taking complete control of the network, there would be, “increased opportunities in the enterprise and consumer wireless markets.” Earlier in the company’s press release it’s stated Verizon will also be, “Better equipped,” to respond to changing trends in the market.
As for Vodafone, it has announced Project Spring, a $6 billion program intended to accelerate the growth of its 4G networks through five major European markets between now and 2017. It will also improve 3G coverage in many locations, and build on its 3G services in emerging markets. More details on Project Spring will be available in November.
The sale brings the nearly 14-year partnership between Verizon and Vodafone to an end, and is one of the largest acquisitions ever made. As always, the deal will take some time to finalize, and it’s expected to be completed during the first three months of 2014.