Vodafone opens higher on report of Verizon's JV buyout plan

LONDON Thu Apr 25, 2013 3:24am EDT

A Vodafone mobile internet dongle is seen connected to a laptop in London November 9, 2010. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett

A Vodafone mobile internet dongle is seen connected to a laptop in London November 9, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Suzanne Plunkett

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LONDON (Reuters) - Shares in Vodafone rose 1.5 percent in early trade on Thursday after two sources said its joint venture partner in the United States, Verizon Communications, was working on a $100 billion bid to take full control of the asset.

The two sources familiar with the situation said Verizon had hired advisers to prepare a possible cash and stock bid to buy out Vodafone's 45 percent stake in the highly successful business.

Vodafone and Verizon declined to comment on the reports. Shares in the British firm have risen 26 percent this year on speculation that it could finally be ready to sell its stake in the U.S. business, but most analysts had put the value of the Vodafone holding at above $120 billion.

(Reporting by Kate Holton)

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