Verizon and AT&T tipped for joint Vodafone bid [UPDATE]

If you thought yesterday's April Fool's Day mess of rumors was hard to swallow, you're really going to have a difficult time with this tip: Verizon and AT&T have been reported to be jointly buying Vodafone. This absolutely wild possibility comes from The Financial Time's Alphaville where they've got what they say are "usually reliable people" suggesting a "breakup bid" for Vodafone between AT&T and Verizon. It's also been said that such a purchase would include a 40% premium on Vodafone's current stock price, this giving the company an enterprise value of right around $245 billion USD.

If such a deal would be made, it'd be the single largest M&A value (Mergers & Acquisitions, that is) of all time. The previous holder of said record was the AOL takeover of Time Warner back in 2000, that deal racking up a cool $182 billion USD. The same source speaking with Alphaville has suggested that Barclays US is working out the possibilities for a potential transaction, the current deal being the following.

"Barclays US has been tasked with putting together the potential transaction, the usually reliable people claim. The basic idea would be that Verizon buys Vodafone's 45 per cent stake in their Verizon Wireless joint venture while AT&T takes the non-US assets." – Alphaville

Other than this basic set of notes and some analysis, it would appear that there's been no evidence that these companies will actually go through with said deal. We'll continue to keep our eye on the situation and you'll know as soon as we know – stay tuned to SlashGear for more!

UPDATE: An update from Dealreporter (through Alphaville) says that Verizon "is not involved in a reported bid for UK telecom company Vodafone." Of course their note also comes from "a person familiar with the matter" as no representation from any of the three companies supposedly involved has yet come forward with a statement.

Have a peek at the timeline below for additional puzzle pieces leading to today's oddity and let us know if you have any insight you'd like to lend!