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Vodafone's sale of ownership of joint venture to Verizon - Essay Example

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Vodafone's sale of ownership of joint venture to Verizon

It began its operations on April 4rd 2000. The birth of Verizon Wireless followed two years of spirited negotiations in the wake of a competitive marketplace and received regulatory approval within six months. It began trading on the New York Securities exchange on July 3rd 2000 and its shares were traded on the NASDAQ exchange on March 2010 (British Invisibles 2009, pg. 18). Under the partnership, Verizon Communication was to hold 55 per cent of the shares under its subsidiaries GTE Wireless Inc. 30.8% and Atlantic Mobile Systems LLC 24.2%. Vodafone would hold the remaining shares under its subsidiaries PCS Nucleus, L. P holding 6.2% and JV PartnerCo, LLC holding the remaining 38.8%. Verizon wireless went on an expansion spree, acquiring Virginia Wireless by the end of 2006 and Rural Cellular Corporation (Unicel) in July 30th 2007. More mergers were to follow with the acquisition of Ramcell in mid-2007 and Surewest communications on June 5th 2008 and by November 2008, Verizon wireless had consolidated its place as the largest wireless carrier in the United States. Its shares had also risen significantly. More success was achieved on May 8th 2009 when AT&T announced that it would be selling five Centennial Wireless service areas to Verizon wireless (Goldberg 2013, pg. 19). The successful buy out in 2013 that is expected to be completed in 2014 was preceded by many failed attempts to reach an agreement to sell Verizon wireless or to merge the two companies. In 2004, Vodafone consented to selling its stake in Verizon wireless to Verizon Communications if it acquired AT&T Wireless. However, this was not to be as Vodafone failed in its bid. The issue came up once again in a conference in Barcelona in 2009. Apparently disturbed by Vodafone’s lack of control over Verizon Wireless, Vodafone Managing Director, Colao stated that he would view the options of merging with Verizon Communications or selling Vodafone’s stake in Verizon wireless as a means of solving the issue (UK Trade & Investment 2009, pg. 33). Although the partnership between Vodafone and Verizon Communications was characterized by much success and rapid expansion to become the most profitable carrier in the United States, the relationship between the partners was a stormy one with each unsuccessfully attempting to buy out the other. Bickering characterized the shaky relationship as the struggle to control the direction of the carrier took center-stage. Verizon felt that the partnership was preventing its independent operations and marketing strategies especially in areas where Vodafone operated. Many analysts concurred that Vodafone was benefiting more from the partnership in the wake of poor performance in the European and American market. With the two partners providing similar services to the same target market, each of them saw the need to operate independently and make strategic investment and marketing decisions independently. Verizon was also opposed to the idea of paying dividends to Vodafone shareholders at a time when Vodafone was not paying dividends to its shareholders. Vodafone’s sale of ownership of joint venture to Verizon in cash and shares was one of the biggest in corporate history. Under the sale agreement, Vodafone received $130 billion in cash and stock from Verizon Communications in exchange for its 45% stake in Verizon ...Show more


(Author’s Name) (Institutional Affiliation) VODAFONE’S SALE OF OWNERSHIP OF JOINT VENTURE TO VERIZON a) Briefly discuss the history of the joint venture The joint partnership between Vodafone and Verizon Communications can be traced back to September 1999 when Vodafone Airtouch Plc…
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