Word that Verizon would like to buy out Vodafone's 45 percent share of Verizon Wireless is hardly new, but Reuters reports it may finally be financially ready to take that step. According to unnamed sources, it's hired bank and legal advisers to prepare the bid, raising $50 billion in bank financing plus $50 billion in its own shares. Friendly discussions are said to start "soon," but if Vodafone is not interested it could take its bid public. It's probably no coincidence that the news is leaking just before Verizon's board meets to discuss a buyout before its regular shareholders meeting, but there are some potential complications. One holdup has been a potential hefty tax bill, but the Verizon CFO has been quoted saying he thinks that can be avoided, giving it more flexibility based on the cash generated by the wireless business.
*Verizon is currently in the process of acquiring AOL, Engadget's parent company. However, Engadget maintains full editorial control, and Verizon will have to pry it from our cold, dead hands.