is in exclusive discussions to sell its Italian Internet unit
, a joint venture of
France Telecom SA
The company confirmed it was in discussions with Wind in a faxed statement to
Dow Jones Newswires
The company is also considering going ahead with plans to take the unit public,
The Wall Street Journal
reported earlier Tuesday.
The company needs cash, in part, to pay for its acquisition of
. In February Vodafone
announced it intends to buy Mannesman in a deal valued at about $181 billion.
Wind's bid consists of a combination of cash and high-rated bonds, worth about $10 billion, according to the
The newspaper said Vodafone was planning a public offering for 49.9% of Infostrada, which is still in the works unless the unit is sold.
Vodafone's American depositary receipts rose 81 cents, or 2%, to close at $38.31 Tuesday.