Verizon Communications will work to resolve its relationship with the UK’s Vodafone Group this year, having considered options that range from ending its wireless joint venture with its European ally, to a full-scale merger of the two phone companies, people familiar with the situation have told Bloomberg. Verizon is known to be keen to take full control of the unit, achieving a greater influence over its most profitable division. The two sides discussed a full combination as recently as December, anonymous sources have now confirmed, but those talks faltered over disagreements on leadership and the location of the new headquarters, making a buyout or partial sale of Vodafone’s 45% stake in Verizon Wireless a far likelier outcome. Analysts have estimated that the stake is worth around USD115 billion, but it is thought that Vodafone would be loath to lose its grip on the money-spinning unit in light of the pressures faced in its European markets.
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