Verizon wants to buy out Vodafone in wireless venture

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LONDON (ShareCast) - Verizon Communications Chief Executive Lowell McAdam has said the company is well positioned to buy out Vodafone Group in their wireless joint venture.

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal Monday, McAdam said the company's plans to become the sole owner of Verizon Wireless were 'feasible'.

Verizon (NYSE: VZ - news) currently owns 55% of the venture and Vodafone (LSE: VOD.L - news) has a 45% stake.

"We have always said we would love to own all of that asset," he said.

Verizon Wireless, formed in 2000, allowed partners to pool assets and share costs when wireless was fairly new.

However there has been a tug-of-war over the business since it has rocketed to epic proportions.

Verizon Wireless made $18.5bn in dividend payouts to the partners in 2012.

Verizon tried to buy Vodafone's holdings in 2006 but was unsuccessful. There have now been murmurings that the companies might unwind the venture and Verizon has voiced its interest as a keen buyer.

There is question, however, as to whether a deal is feasible as the value of the business has been estimated at $100bn.

"I think [a deal] is feasible," McAdam said Monday. "Our wireline business is getting stronger and as that gets stronger, it makes it easier."

Verizon would be able to purchase the interest from Vodafone outright. There are however, many ways Verizon could take over, McAdam said.

To be had in account perhaps, in a research note published yesterday analysts at Citi voiced the possibility that Verizon could launch an offer for Vodafone itself.

Verizon gained 0.88% to $44.69 at 8:55 Monday while Vodaphone rose 2.79% to 164.10p.

RD