Verizon Denies Bid for Vodafone Group

LONDON -- The latest twist and turn in the Vodafone story has seen Verizon Communications refute the recent press speculation regarding a takeover bid for the U.K.-based telecom company.

The statement from Verizon confirmed that "[i]t does not... currently have any intention to merge with or make an offer for Vodafone, whether alone or in conjunction with others" following rumors that Verizon and AT&T had been working on a "share break-up bid," which would value Vodafone at 260 pence per share, or about $245 billion.

This public announcement caused Vodafone's share price to fall over 1.5% in early trade this morning, down to 189 pence at the time of writing, after having ended yesterday on a new five-year high at 192 pence.

However, Verizon did reiterate today that it "would be a willing purchaser of the 45% stake that Vodafone holds in Verizon Wireless." The sticking point here, though, is the large tax bill that Vodafone would have to pay if it sold some or all of its 45% stake.

Clearly, this story has further to run...

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