In a move that surprised analysts, Verizon Wireless on Monday declared a $7 billion dividend to co-owners Verizon Communications and Vodafone. Lowell McAdam, Verizon Communications' CEO, recently told analysts that the partners might face a "lean" year for the payout. Analysts surmised that McAdam might use the dividend as leverage for negotiating a buyout of Vodafone's 45% share in the wireless venture. "Despite more contentious commentary from Verizon management it's just does not appear that withholding Verizon Wireless cash flow from Vodafone is likely to be part of the negotiation," Evercore analyst Jonathan Schildkraut said.

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Reuters, Bloomberg

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