Verizon Communications CEO Lowell McAdam told investors this week that paying down Verizon Wireless' $5 billion debt load that comes due between now and mid-2014 will take top priority over paying dividends to the carrier's two owners, including Vodafone. McAdam said Verizon would be interested in acquiring Vodafone's 45% stake if the telecom does not have to pay a premium price, according to an analyst who attended the meeting. McAdam also said Vodafone's options remain limited and that Verizon has alternative paths to long-term growth, such as investing overseas or making acquisitions. He said the telecom would want to exploit such assets as its global network and data centers.

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