The boards of both Verizon and Vodafone are meeting this weekend, according to multiple Reuters reports, to discuss approval of a $130 billion deal for Vodafone's 45 percent stake in Verizon Wireless. Half of the money for this epic transaction would come in the form of Verizon shares, say Reuters' sources, while the other $65 billion would be financed through a mix of cash, bank loans, and bonds.
Verizon has been keen to acquire Vodafone's share of its wireless business for a long time now, with its current effort building up steam from April this year. The initial offer was reported to be $100 billion in total considerations, however Vodafone's insistence on a higher price and a recent drop in Verizon's stock price have motivated CEO Lowell McAdam to raise his offer by 30 percent. All indications are that the two companies find the new price acceptable and Reuters anticipates an announcement of the deal can be made as early as Monday, September 2nd. That's the same date that Bloomberg forecast an announcement for as well, so everything seems to be going to plan.
An official announcement is expected on Monday
Given the magnitude of the deal, it's no surprise to find almost every big Wall Street bank involved in the transaction. On Verizon's side, you'll find bankers from JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, Barclays, and Bank of America Merrill Lynch, while Vodafone is being advised by Goldman Sachs and UBS. Technically, Verizon is bidding to buy Vodafone Americas, the UK operator's US holding company, whose European assets would then be sold back to Vodafone in a tax-reducing maneuver.
Update: The Wall Street Journal reports that negotiations between the two companies have concluded successfully at the aforementioned $130 billion valuation. Now it's just a matter for final board approval before the sale is announced on Monday.