Mobile phone giant Vodafone is reported to be mulling its exit from America in one of the largest corporate transactions of all time.
The Newbury-based company has recently been in talks with its US partner, Verizon Communications, over a sale of Vodafone’s 45% stake in Verizon Wireless, which is America’s largest mobile phone operator.
Options have included a merger of the two telecoms giants and the partial sale of Vodafone’s stake but the UK company is now leaning towards making a clean break from America, according to the Sunday Times.
A deal could be struck as soon as this summer and be worth as much as $135bn (£88bn), which compares with AOL’s record $164bn takeover of Time Warner in 2001.
Vodafone has a market capitalisation of £90bn, which means the bulk of its value is locked up in a business where it has no day-to-day control.
The company is likely to use the proceeds from any sale on a major European deal or a return of cash to shareholders.
However, chief executive Vittorio Colao is not thought to be in any hurry to quit America and may opt against selling the asset, the newspaper added.