The Wall Street Journal is reporting this afternoon that Vodafone and Verizon Communications, which have joint ownership of Verizon Wireless, have reached a deal this weekend to sell Vodafone's 45 percent stake in the United States' largest wireless company to Verizon for $130 billion in cash and stock.
Both sides have flirted with this deal for years
The two communications giants have been rumored to flirt with the idea of unifying control of Verizon Wireless under Verizon for years, but nothing has materialized until now. Though they're said to have agreed in principle to the terms, both companies' boards still need to vote on the deal, a process that could be finalized as soon as tomorrow. Reuters reports that a Verizon Communications vote is expected on Monday morning, which would give it time to be announced following the close of London markets at 11:30AM ET.
For Verizon, the deal means finally having complete control over its branded wireless unit, a business that constitutes an enormous and ever-growing percentage of the company's total revenue. Vodafone, which has long expressed dissatisfaction with the return on its investment, walks away with a significant amount of cash — it paid $70 billion for its stake some 14 years ago.