Verizon has reportedly hired banking and legal advisers to put together a $100 billion proposal to purchase the remaining 45 percent stake in the company from partner Vodafone. Verizon was considering a 50:50 cash and stock bid for the shares according to two people familiar with the matter as first reported by Yahoo News.
The wireless provider will likely need to sweeten the deal to get Vodafone investors on board, however. Most analysts believe a $100 billion bid is too low but it will at least get Vodafone to the table. One anonymous Vodafone investor said there is absolutely no way it would be $100 billion, although the investor said they would be delighted with $135 billion.
This isn’t the first time that the two sides have discussed a stake sale or a full merger. The remaining stake is an asset that Verizon has wanted for quite some time but trying to figure out how to avoid a possible $20 billion capital gains tax has been just one of the hurdles in the way. Sources say the new deal would be structured in a way that the tax bill would only be around $5 billion.
A spokesperson for Verizon declined to comment although he pointed to a statement earlier this month which said they would be a willing buyer of Vodafone’s shares. Verizon’s board is expected to discuss the deal next week during a scheduled meeting before the annual shareholder meeting.