The deal has been approved by both companies’ boards and is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2014, according to a statement today. Verizon will pay Vodafone $58.9 billion in cash, financed with credit from JPMorgan Chase & Co., Bank of America Corp., Barclays Plc and Morgan Stanley. The company also will issue $60.2 billion in stock to Vodafone shareholders.
The acquisition ends a 14-year partnership and will let Verizon collect all the future profits from the wireless unit while allowing Vodafone to exit a business whose dividends and operations it didn’t control. If completed at $130 billion, almost Verizon’s entire market value, the deal would be the biggest since Vodafone’s acquisition of Mannesmann AG in 2000.
“It’s the best-run wireless operator in the U.S., and by some measures maybe the best-run wireless operator in the world,” Craig Moffett, an analyst at Moffett Research LLC, said on Bloomberg Television before the agreement was announced.