Now Verizon Wants To Buy Vodafone?

There have been a lot of rumors that Vodafone would finally sell its stake in Verizon Wireless, though the company’s denied it’s interested and the strategic value for Verizon to buy the stake back isn’t clear. Now, a UK tabloid — not exactly a noted source for business news — printed a story saying that Verizon is lining up an audacious bid, along with Telefonica and private-equity firm Blackstone, to buy out Vodafone for a staggering $167 billion. The buyers would then split the company up, with Verizon taking back the stake in VZW and the UK operaions, while Telefonica would grab the rest of the European operations and Blackstone and other firms would carve up the rest of Vodafone’s holdings. Blackstone denies it’s working on a bid, and the rumors seem awfully far-fetched. If Verizon wants to buy the stake back, this is probably the worst way to do it, as it’s hard to see any benefit whatsoever in owning a British carrier with a GSM network — the same sort of problem Vodafone faces with its Verizon Wireless holding.

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