Verizon Wireless might be closer than ever to buying back the 45% stake that Vodafone has in its company. The Wall Street Journal reports Vodafone has confirmed that it is in talks with Verizon concerning this multi-billion dollar deal, although no details have been released and the eventual outcome is still very much up in the air. Earlier this year, reports began to circulate that Verizon would either merge or buyout Vodafone’s stake, but nothing came of these negotiations. Now that competition has heated up in the wireless arena, the window for the deal is closing, and the conversation is becoming more serious.
New devices and increased pressure from smaller wireless carriers are certainly part of the problem for Verizon, but its the rising interest rates which might make this deal obsolete. “Interest rates are presumably the real catalyst here,” said Craig Moffett, senior research analyst at Moffett Research. “With interest rates rising, there has to be some sense of urgency that is now or never.”
According to the Journal, the deal could happen within the next week and Verizon may spend as much as $130 billion to buy out Vodafone’s stake.