Vodafone investors are set for a total payout of €64 billion following the sale of the group's share in Verizon Wireless. 

In one of the biggest corporate deals in history, the European operator has agreed to sell its 45 percent stake in the firm to parent Verizon Communications for €99 billion.

Verizon Wireless was founded as a joint venture by the two companies in 2000 and has since become the biggest mobile operator in the US. 

The deal, which is expected to complete in the first quarter of 2014 and will need shareholder and regulatory approval, comprises €45 billion in cash and €46 billion in Verizon shares. 

Some 71 percent of the proceeds are due to go to Vodafone shareholders, with €18 billion due to be paid in cash, plus shares. Shareholders will be able to cash in their Verizon shares to take the entire windfall as cash.

Vodafone CEO Vittorio Colao said some of the €23.7 billion in cash left over from the deal would be used to fund investment in super-fast mobile networks and broadband. Some of the money will also be used to help pay down the company's debt. 

Colao added: "This transaction has the beauty that it allows both to reward shareholders for their support and strengthen the company for future long-term rewards to shareholders." 

Some €7 billion will be spent on Vodafone's ‘Project Spring’ over the next three years. This will boost 4G, 3G, fibre and broadband services and help the company meet growing global demand for high-speed data, offering much faster broadband services to customers.

"We expect the number of people using video on smartphones to double over the next two years,” said Colao. “We see an increasing interest and demand for unified communication services from both individuals and businesses."

Lowell McAdam, chairman and chief executive of Verizon Communications, said full ownership would create bigger business opportunities for the firm. He added: "The timing was right to execute a transaction that benefits both companies and their shareholders."

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