McAdam said the deal will basically pay for itself as the profits from the wireless business covers expenses from interest and dividends on the stock Verizon will issue. He said the deal will boost Verizon's earnings per share by 10 percent right away.
Verizon needs to borrow some $61 billion to make the deal happen. Executives said they expect the company's debt rating to fall one notch, but that it will return to current levels over the next four to five years.
Company shares slid 4 percent, or $1.88, to $45.50 in early trading. Shares are still trading near a 12-year high.
To pay for most of the rest of the deal, Verizon is issuing shares to Vodafone shareholders. That stock was valued at about $60 billion before the deal was announced, and the agreement sets a floor at $47 per share and a ceiling of $51. In Tuesday morning trading, Verizon shares slid almost 5 percent to $45.23.
The cell phone business has seen several large deals this year. No. 3 wireless company Sprint Corp. received a $21.6 billion investment from SoftBank Corp. in July, giving the Japanese investment firm a 78 percent stake. T-Mobile grew larger through a merger with smaller rival MetroPCS on April 30.
Late Monday, Microsoft Corp. said that it would buy Nokia's line-up of smartphones and a portfolio of patents as it tries to vault into the lucrative mobile computing market and gear up for a fight with Apple Inc.
The largest deal on record is Vodafone's $172 billion acquisition of Mannesmann AG in 2000, according to research firm Dealogic.
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