Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements

NOTE 7

INVESTMENTS IN UNCONSOLIDATED BUSINESSES

Our investments in unconsolidated businesses are comprised of the following:

(dollars in millions)

At December 31,

Ownership

 

2008
Investment

 

Ownership

 

2007
Investment

 

Equity Investees

Vodafone Omnitel

23.1

%

$

2,182

 

23.1

%

$

2,313

 

Other

Various

 

 

877

 

Various

 

 

744

 

Total equity investees

 

 

 

3,059

 

 

 

 

3,057

 

 

Cost Investees

Various

 

 

334

 

Various

 

 

315

 

Total investments in unconsolidated businesses

 

 

$

3,393

 

 

 

$

3,372

 

Dividends and repatriations of foreign earnings received from these investees amounted to $779 million in 2008, $2,571 million in 2007 and $42 million in 2006.

Equity Method Investments

Vodafone Omnitel

Vodafone Omnitel is the second largest wireless communications company in Italy. At December 31, 2008 and 2007, our investment in Vodafone Omnitel included goodwill of $1,105 million and $1,154 million, respectively. During 2008 and 2007, Verizon received a net distribution from Vodafone Omnitel of approximately $670 million and $2,100 million, respectively. As a result, in 2007 we recorded $610 million of foreign and domestic taxes and expenses specifically relating to our share of Vodafone Omnitel's distributable earnings.

Other Equity Investees

Verizon has limited partnership investments in entities that invest in affordable housing projects, for which Verizon provides funding as a limited partner and receives tax deductions and tax credits based on its partnership interests. At December 31, 2008 and 2007, Verizon had equity investments in these partnerships of $761 million and $637 million, respectively. Verizon currently adjusts the carrying value of these investments for any losses incurred by the limited partnerships through earnings.

The remaining investments include wireless partnerships in the U.S. and other smaller domestic and international investments.

Cost Method Investments

Some of our cost investments are carried at their current market value. Other cost investments are carried at their original cost, except in cases where we have determined that a decline in the estimated market value of an investment is other-than-temporary.