AT&T could buy out Vodafone next year

AT&T could buy out Vodafone next year

AT&T is reportedly strategising for a potential takeover of Vodafone next year, with the US operator presently mapping out how it will complete a complex deal for the European carrier.

According to Bloomberg, the companies have not yet entered into formal negotiations, but AT&T is assessing which Vodafone assets it would retain, and what it could potentially acquire.

The company would be interested in acquiring UK carrier EE, if a deal for Vodafone failed.

AT&T has repeatedly voiced its interest in Europe, particularly given the opportunities that exist around mobile broadband adoption on the continent, which has lagged behind the US.

A merger between the companies would create the world’s largest operator by sales, and AT&T has previously considered a partnership with Verizon Communications to take Vodafone’s European and US assets.

Verizon struck a deal earlier this year to buy out Vodafone’s stake in Verizon wireless for $130 billion.

A combined AT&T and Vodafone entity would create a telecoms company with market capitalisation of over $250 billion, but the deal is subject to the close of Vodafone’s stake in Verizon Wireless, which is expected in 2014. 

Vodafone CEO Vittorio Colao is said to be open to the deal, depending on the terms, but despite the interest he is reportedly still formulating strategies for Vodafone to operate as a separate entity, with plans to invest in major deals for fixed-line companies.

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