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Verizon shareholders OK $130 billion deal for Vodafone's stake in Verizon's wireless division

Three smartphones from Verizon are displayed, July 23, 2013 in New York. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Mark Lennihan

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Three smartphones from Verizon are displayed, July 23, 2013 in New York. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Mark Lennihan

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Verizon says its shareholders have approved its $130 billion deal to buy the 45 per cent stake in its wireless division owned by British cellphone carrier Vodafone.

As part of the deal, Verizon will issue up to 1.28 billion shares of common stock to Vodafone shareholders. Vodafone Group PLC shareholders also approved the deal at a meeting held earlier Tuesday.

New York-based Verizon Communications Inc. says buying Vodafone's stake will give it greater flexibility to invest in new technologies. Once the deal closes, it will no longer have to share its wireless operating profits with Vodafone.

The deal, which is expected to around Feb. 21, needs court approval in the United Kingdom among other customary closing conditions.

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