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Verizon plans $25 bn debt offering: source

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Verizon plans a record $25 billion debt offering as it gathers financing to buy Vodafone's stake in their Verizon Wireless joint venture, a person familiar with the matter said Thursday. 

Verizon plans a record $25 billion debt offering as it gathers financing to buy Vodafone's stake in their Verizon Wireless joint venture, a person familiar with the matter said.

Verizon Communications is expected to launch the offering in the next week or two, the source said.

The potential bond sale comes as Verizon begins to raise the $130 billion it needs to take full ownership of Verizon Wireless, the largest US wireless provider.

The parters announced Monday the deal for Verizon to buy the British company Vodafone's 45 percent stake in Verizon Wireless.

"Verizon subscribed a very large bridge loan to pay for the transaction," the person told AFP. "Over the next week or two, they will try to convert that to bonds."

The size of the offering envisioned would surpass Apple's $17 billion bond sale launched in April. There is a "very good chance this would be the biggest loan emission ever," the source said.

Verizon plans to issue $60.2 billion in common stock to finance the deal and is expected to raise a similar sum in debt.

Verizon said the increase in cashflow from 100 percent control of Verizon Wireless should enable it to pay back the debt within a few years.

The deal comes amid rising interest rates in the US and other markets.

Verizon chief financial officer Fran Shammo told analysts the company planned to move as quickly as possible.

"The timeline is as short as we possibly can make it and what the market will bear," Shammo said on a conference call Tuesday.

Verizon shares fell 0.7 percent in midday trade on the New York Stock Exchange.

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