London - Vodafone Group PLC said on Thursday it was in talks with Verizon Communications to sell its 45-percent stake in their US joint venture Verizon Wireless for what a Bloomberg report said would be about $130-billion.
Verizon is working with several banks to raise $10-billion from each to finance about $60-billion of the deal and an announcement could come as soon as September 2, two sources told Bloomberg.
Reuters reported first in April that Verizon had hired advisers for a possible $100-billion bid and was contemplating a roughly 50:50 cash and stock offer for the 45-percent stake in Verizon Wireless it does not already own.
At the time, most analysts said the roughly $100-billion figure contemplated by Verizon was too low and that the value of the Vodafone holding was nearer $120-billion.
The Wall Street Journal said significant shifts in financial markets, such as rising interest rates as well as changes in the US cellphone business had brought the two sides closer together.
A Verizon spokesman declined to comment on the Bloomberg and Wall Street Journal reports.
Vodafone Chairman Gerard Kleisterlee said last month the company would seriously consider any offer for its stake in Verizon Wireless if it offered more value to investors than the current status quo. - Reuters