After months of speculation, the country's largest wireless company, Verizon Wireless, is finally back in Verizon's hands. British cellular company Vodafone bought a 45 percent cut of Verizon Wireless for $70 billion over a decade ago and has now reached an agreement with Verizon that will see the communications giant buy back the stake in its wireless arm for a massive $130 billion in cash and stock. Verizon has confirmed the deal via its official PR page, estimating that the purchase will close by the end of Q1 2014 pending regulatory approvals.
Reflecting on the finalized deal, Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam said, "This transaction will enhance value across platforms and allow Verizon to operate more efficiently, so we can continue to focus on producing more seamless and integrated products and solutions for our customers. We believe full ownership will provide increased opportunities in the enterprise and consumer wireline markets."
Since 1999, when Vodafone first invested in Verizon Wireless, mobile communications have represented an increasingly large portion of Verizon's total earnings. Generally, wireless revenues are now double the size of the company's wireline incomes. Despite healthy revenues, Vodafone has expressed dismay at the meager returns on its investment. But CEO Vittorio Colao highlighted the positives of the Verizon partnership today. "Our two companies have had a long and successful partnership and have grown Verizon Wireless into a market leader with great momentum," he said, wishing Verizon "continuing success" as it assumes total ownership of the carrier. Verizon and Vodafone will hold a conference call to discuss the landmark transaction tomorrow at 8AM EST.