Mobile phone firm Vodafone has confirmed it is in talks over a possible sale of its 45 per cent stake in US communications firm Verizon.
The company is based in Newbury and also has offices in Basingstoke.
Vodafone confirms that it is in advanced discussions with Verizon Communications Inc. regarding the disposal of Vodafone's US group whose principal asset is its 45% interest in Verizon Wireless for US$130 billion. The consideration would substantially comprise a mixture of Verizon common stock and cash."
Vodafone said it was releasing the statement in response to media speculation. It added that there was no certainty an agreement would be reached. The company said it would make a further announcement "as soon as practicable".
Shares in the mobile phone giant, who have their HQ in Newbury, Berkshire, jumped 9% after it said it was in discussions with US partner, Verizon Communications, over a sale of its 45% stake in Verizon Wireless, which is America's largest mobile phone operator.
It is thought that Verizon wants to pay around 100 billion US dollars (£64.4 billion) for the stake, although reports have said that Vodafone is pressing for as much as 130 billion US dollars (£83.8 billion).
The Newbury-based company is likely to use the proceeds from any sale on major acquisitions or a return of cash to shareholders.
Vodafone notes the recent press speculation and confirms that it is in discussions with Verizon Communications regarding the possible disposal of Vodafone's US group whose principal asset is its 45% interest in Verizon Wireless. There is no certainty that an agreement will be reached.
Suddeutsche reported that internal papers from GCHQ from 2009 showed the companies - some of which were given codenames - including Verizon Business (known as Dacron), BT (Remedy), and Vodafone Cable (Gerontic), as well as Global Crossing, Level 3, Viatel, and Interoute.
In the wake of the claims concerning telecoms companies, both BT and Vodafone said today that questions relating to national security were for governments, not telecommunications providers, and that they did disclose any customer data unless required to by law.
A Vodafone spokesman said: "Media reports on these matters have demonstrated a misunderstanding of the basic facts of European, German and UK legislation and of the legal obligations set out within every telecommunications operator's licence, in Germany and beyond.
Documents said to have been leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden apparently show that a number of telecoms companies allowed GCHQ access to undersea cables which carry their phone and internet traffic, allowing them to see details of customers' phone calls and email conversations.
Vodafone and BT, and US-based Verizon, were revealed by Germany's Suddeutsche newspaper which claimed to have details of a spy programme, codenamed Tempora, which allows GCHQ to tap into fibreoptic cables and store data.
A £1 billion bid by Newbury-based telecommunications firm Vodafone for Cable & Wireless Worldwide (CWW) is back on track. CWW's biggest shareholder has backed the deal.
The Canadian firm Orbis has changed its position and decided to back the 38p a share arrangement. If the deal goes through Vodafone would become the UK's second biggest telecoms operator after British Telecom.