Verizon/Vodafone deal closes. Vodafone to return $85B to shareholders.

|About: Verizon Communications (VZ)|By:, SA News Editor

Verizon (VZ -0.3%) has officially completed its $130B purchase of Vodafone's (VOD +0.5%) 45% stake in Verizon Wireless. As previously announced, Verizon is issuing 1.27B shares to Vodafone (current value of $61B), and paying for the rest of the deal in cash.

Vodafone says it will return $23.9B of the cash to shareholders in addition to distributing the Verizon shares (previous), leading to a total return of $85B. All signs suggest the carrier will use a chunk of the remaining post-tax windfall to go acquisition-hunting.

Verizon reiterates the deal will immediately be accretive to EPS by 10%. Over the long haul, it's expected to give Verizon more flexibility to integrate its wireline and mobile services, and to cut overhead by combining redundant divisions.