Verizon, Vodaphone CEOs Strike Vast Deal—at the Gym

Verizon buys out Vodafone in 3rd-biggest deal ever

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Sep 3, 2013 1:03 AM CDT

(Newser) – Things seem pretty cozy at the top in the world of telecommunications: Verizon has bought out its British partner Vodafone and the CEOs involved say the third-biggest corporate deal in history was forged in a San Francisco gym. "We got up early. We were both down at the gym together, we had a brief conversation on the exercise bicycle," Verizon chief Lowell McAdam tells Reuters, adding that he also chatted with Vodafone's Vittorio Colao at breakfast. "We looked at the final bit of data, and we said, 'Looks like $130 billion is about the right number and let's see if we can put a deal together around that," he says.

Verizon—America's biggest wireless provider—now has full control of its wireless unit after buying Vodafone's 45% stake, but its 100 million US customers are unlikely to see any immediate change in their services, reports the New York Times. "There’s a big phase of growth in the US telecom market," McAdam says. "The timing was perfect for us." The huge deal also highlights how well banks have bounced back from the financial crisis, the Guardian notes: Verizon was able to raise the $60 billion cash it is using to finance the deal from four banks. Vodafone will also receive $60 billion in Verizon shares and around $10 billion from related transactions.

Verizon had talked about buying Vodafone's shares for years before the deal was made.
Verizon had talked about buying Vodafone's shares for years before the deal was made.   (AP Photo/Don Ryan, File)
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