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Vodafone completes Verizon stake sale

Vodafone has sold its 45 per cent stake in Verizon Wireless to the US telecoms giant Verizon Communication.

It represents one of the biggest deals in corporate history, with Vodafone making $130 billion from the deal. It is the third largest in the world, after the company's $203 billion acquisition of Mannesmann in 1999 and AOL's $181 billion takeover of Time Warner in 2000.

The deal is set to close in the first quarter of 2014 and Vodafone will get $58.9 billion in cash, $60.2 billion in Verizon stocks and an additional $11 billion from smaller transactions.

Vodafone has stated it will invest the money into its business, including improving coverage and creating the infrastructure for high speed mobile phone networks.

It is aiming to have complete 4G coverage in its core five European markets by 2017.

The firm's chief executive Vittorio Colao told BBC News: "We got an offer that we thought was in the interests of our shareholders to accept."

By Gary Cooper