After 14 years together, Verizon and Vodafone are calling it quits. Verizon will buy out Vodafone's 45% stake in Verizon Wireless to gain full control of the company. The two wireless giants have agreed to a deal valued at $130 billion, which includes $58.9 billion in cash, $60.2 billion in Verizon stock, and $11 billion in additional cash from smaller deals. This confirms rumors that began surfacing late last week.
Verizon's board unanimously approved the deal to buy Vodafone's stake in its wireless arm. This will leave Verizon proper with full control of the highly profitable wireless carrier. It has missed out on a large chunk of the profits in recent years, but no more. For its part, Vodafone is handing most of the windfall over to shareholders.
There are a few regulatory hurdles to clear before the deal can be finalized, but it's nothing like when two carriers try to merge (see: T-Mobile and AT&T). Verizon is just getting full ownership of a company that it already had a controlling interest in. However, there could be a federal review of the deal regarding the $60.2 billion in Verizon stock Vodafone is getting. Vodafone is a foreign company, after all. The transaction is expected to close early next year.