In what capacity though, is under speculation. Rumors abound that the company could cut off ties altogether, or issue a full merger — and everything in between, people familiar with the situation told Bloomberg.
Conversations about merging have happened as recently as December, the sources said. However, disagreements about leadership, and possible locations for the headquarters lead speculators the think that a buyout or partial sale of Vodafone’s 45 percent, $115 billion stake in Verizon would be more likely.
Verizon has expressed interest in gaining more control over its most profitable division, and is enthusiastic about a buyout. Vodafone, though, has some reservations about valuation, and how to use any proceeds from a sale. The U.K. company has explored the idea of using the money to make acquisitions in Europe, instead of just returning proceeds to shareholders.