Third-biggest corporate deal nears a conclusion

London-based Vodafone confirmed on Monday it was in "advanced talks" over the $US130 billion sale of its US wireless venture to partner Verizon.

London-based Vodafone confirmed on Monday it was in "advanced talks" over the $US130 billion sale of its US wireless venture to partner Verizon.

Sources said senior executives were working late into the night on the terms of the acquisition of the 45 per cent stake by Verizon. If successful, the agreement would be the third-biggest corporate deal so far.

Vodafone board members were said to be deliberating on final details, including the proportion of cash versus shares. Sources expected Verizon to pay half in cash and half in shares, although the situation was fluid.

Both sides were said to be "confident" a deal would be done, despite markets being closed in the US for Labour Day, though the timetable could slip. "It's a good price and it crystallises the value pretty fully of the US asset after many, many years of not really having a satisfactory cash return [from Verizon Wireless]," said James Britton, an analyst at Nomura.

Vodafone shareholders are expecting as much as 70 per cent of the proceeds, a major boost for British fund managers and pension funds.

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