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Mergers & Acquisitions

Vodafone set to announce sale of Verizon stake

British telecoms firm Vodafone has reportedly agreed to sell its stake in US mobile operator Verizon Wireless. Media reports have said Verizon’s board is expected to seal the third biggest corporate takeover on Monday.

Verizon's board of directors would meet on Monday to finalize a deal worth $130 billion (98.5 billion euros) to buy out Vodafone's stake of 45 percent in the company, the Financial Times reported Monday.

The report followed a Vodafone statement late on Sunday, saying the British telecoms giant was in advanced talks with Verizon Communications regarding the disposal of Vodafone's stake.

Sources familiar with the negotiations told Reuters news agency that they expected a full announcement to come after the London stock market had closed on Monday.

Created in 2000, Verizon Wireless is the biggest US mobile phone company operating more than 100 million lines and employing 73,400 people.

Under the agreement, Vodafone would get $60 billion in cash, $60 billion in Verizon stock, and an additional $10 billion from smaller transactions, sources told Reuters. Part of the funding would come from four major British and American banks, they added.

The acquisition would be the third-largest in corporate history after Vodafone's takeover of Germany's Mannesmann mobile company for around $203 billion in 1999, and the merger between Time Warner and AOL worth about $165 billion.

uhe/ccp (Reuters, AFP, dpa)