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Verizon sniffing around Vodafone's US stake again

$100bn in used greenbacks would spark serious tax bill

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Verizon is putting together a $100bn bid for Vodafone's stake in its wireless business, and is ready to take the offer public if a boardroom deal can't be agreed.

Half that hundred billion will come in Verizon shares, the rest in borrowed cash, Reuters tells us in its exclusive coverage. But however the money comes it will hit Vodafone with a significant tax bill, while leaving the world's second-largest operator free to do more trans-Atlantic dealing.

Vodafone owns 45 per cent of Verizon Wireless, and has been enjoying decent revenue from its American sojourn (£2.4bn over last summer/autumn) so won't give it up easily, especially if the sale results in a $20bn invoice from the UK tax office.

That won't happen of course, the deal will be structured in such a way to quarter that figure but even then it will make Vodafone cautious. Reuters tells us that Vodafone investors consider the tax implications critical before any deal could be done, and they may end up deciding if Verizon's threat to go public is genuine.

Vodafone has never been shy about its willingness to get shot of Verizon Wireless, if the right money was offered, but neither party is commenting on the latest reports. ®

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