VZ has well know desires to take full ownership of the 45% stake (not a merger) so the question is why would VOD sell.
Exactly the reason I finally bought VOD.... VOD has little to gain by selling its ownership stake (will lose strong cash flow source and have tax issues) unless it was so lucrative it was stupid...and at that point VZ might as well be doing a full takeover of VOD.....although the rumor of a partner takeover w/AT&T was denied, it is the only scenario which makes sense to me. Buyout vs. takeover. There is a difference in this situation given the structure.
Again, know it has been denied but where there is smoke, there is fire. VOD is stupid cheap and should be trading at a minimum of $37 on VZ stake alone and possibly up to near $45 given some buyout premium and some value for its other global assets, JMO. Fair TAKEOVER bid somewhere approaching $42. Such a premium over current PPS would be hard for the VOD board to deny.