A new report claims that two unlikely partners may team up to acquire the world’s second-largest mobile carrier. According to the Financial Times, Verizon (VZ) and AT&T (T) are working on a breakup bid for European carrier Vodafone (VOD) that would value the company at $245 billion, a 40% premium over its current valuation of $115. The deal would see Verizon take control of the 45% stake Vodafone currently owns in Verizon Wireless, while Vodafone’s business outside of the U.S. would go to AT&T. Earlier reports suggested that Verizon and Vodafone were actively discussing ways to resolve their relationship in the form of a merger or possibly a full or partial buyout.
UPDATE: Verizon has issued the following statement:
Verizon Communications Inc. (“Verizon”) notes the recent press speculation regarding a potential merger with or purchase by Verizon of Vodafone. As Verizon has said many times, it would be a willing purchaser of the 45% stake that Vodafone holds in Verizon Wireless. It does not, however, currently have any intention to merge with or make an offer for Vodafone, whether alone or in conjunction with others.