Verizon denies interest in buying Vodafone

Vodafone Group

Last Updated at 22 Mar 2018, 16:30 GMT Vodafone Group three month chart
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US telecoms group Verizon Communications has denied that it wants to buy or merge with UK mobile phone operator Vodafone.

It follows a press report that said Verizon could make a joint move for Vodafone with fellow US firm AT&T.

Verizon said it did not "currently have any intention to merge with or make an offer for Vodafone".

It added that it remained interested in buying out Vodafone's 45% stake in their Verizon Wireless joint venture.

Verizon Wireless is one of the largest mobile phone networks in the US.

'Open mind'

On Tuesday, the report that Vodafone could face a takeover bid saw its shares close at a 10-year high, up 2.9% at 192p. The denial from Verizon sent Vodafone's shares down 3% to 186p by Wednesday's London close.

Verizon's shares were trading down 1.25% by the close of business in London.

AT&T has not commented on the takeover speculation.

There has also been media speculation in recent months that Vodafone could sell its stake in Verizon Wireless, and leave the US market.

However, such a move would hit Vodafone with a substantial capital gains tax bill because the value of Verizon Wireless is now substantially higher than when it was formed back in 2000.

Last month, Vodafone's chief executive Vittorio Colao said he had "an open mind" about the share holding.

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