SHARES in Vodafone rose almost 3pc in London yesterday after its partner in US joint venture Verizon Wireless said it would be "feasible" to buy out the British group in what would be one of the biggest corporate deals ever.
Verizon Communications boss Lowell McAdam told the ' Wall Street Journal' that "we have always said we would love to own all of that asset", which is 55pc owned by Verizon Communications and 45pc by Vodafone. More Irish people own shares in Vodafone than any other listed company.
Investors in both groups have long speculated about the future of Verizon Wireless's ownership, especially after Vodafone embarked on a programme of selling stakes in businesses that it did not control.
That was aimed at streamlining its portfolio and returning cash to shareholders who felt the company's share price did not reflect the sum of its many individual parts.
The two parent groups have also clashed in recent years over when and whether Verizon Wireless should pay its two owners a dividend.
Mr McAdam added that Verizon could buy the stake outright, or there are "lots of different ways we could do it".