Verizon Acquires Vodafone Stake for $130B, Canadian Expansion Still Possible

Last week it was reported Verizon was set to buy out U.K. partner Vodafone’s 45% stake in Verizon Wireless for a reported $130 billion deal. It has now become official, as a press release this morning has confirmed it, after reports on the weekend said a deal was imminent:

Verizon Communications Inc. today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement with Vodafone Group Plc to acquire Vodafone’s U.S. group with the principal asset of 45 percent of Verizon Wireless for $130 billion, consisting primarily of cash and stock. Verizon expects the transaction at close to be immediately accretive to the company’s EPS (earnings per share) by approximately 10 percent, without any one-time adjustments.

The transaction was unanimously approved by the boards of directors of Verizon and Vodafone, and is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals and the approval of both companies’ shareholders. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2014.

Verizon will pay Vodafone $58.9 billion in cash (by financing), $60.2 billion in stock and the remaining $2.5 billion a combination of other sources.

Last week, reports of the Verizon-Vodafone deal was questioned by some as putting a damper on efforts to expand to Canada, but some analysts argued it could also improve odds as Verizon was now in complete control for future mergers and acquisitions. Some have speculated Canada was possibly used as a bargaining chip in negotiations with Vodafone.

The noise of Verizon coming to Canada has also gained some interest by popular Canadian YouTube channel A Dose of Buckley, which gives its expletive-filled NSFW take on the matter:

YouTube video

The deal probably gives Rogers, Telus and Bell some breathing room for now, but we’ll find out Verizon’s true intentions by September 17, the deadline for deposits to made to participate in the 700MHz wireless spectrum auction set for January 2014.

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