You might not know this, but one of Vodafone's biggest assets is a 45 per cent chunk of US phone network Verizon Wireless. Now, in a new strategy to concentrate on Europe (which could be good for us Brits), Vodafone's flogging its stake in the jointly-owned network for £83.6 billion. That's a heck of a lot of 4G masts.
A report by Wall Street Journal has it on good authority that a deal has been agreed, subject to board approval. Like most of these huge corporate deals, it's not all cash, as apparently half of it'll be paid in stock.
Don't expect this to have much of an impact in the short term for the UK, however, because it seems no tax will be payable on the monster sum. The money might come in handy for accelerating the 4G rollout in the UK, of course. The only long-term bright spot for us consumers that I can see is that Vodafone will probably look to reinvest at least some of the money to replace the lost revenue that the American network generated for it. That could lead to another Vodafone network in Europe, which potentially means cheap roaming in another holiday destination.
Anyway, the deal isn't concrete yet, let alone plans for using the £83.6 billion, so we'll have to wait and see what happens. Having said that, if you're a Vodafone shareholder, a rather large sum might be heading your way soon. [Wall Street Journal, BBC]
Image credit: Ged Carroll from flickr