Tele2 seeks European acquisitions after Russia sale: Financial Times

Tele2 has told the UK’s Financial Times newspaper that it will seek further acquisitions after negotiating the sale of its Russian subsidiary to VTB, a state-controlled bank, earlier this month.

VTB (Moscow, Russia) paid $3.5 billion for the company after MTS (Moscow, Russia) and Vimpelcom (Moscow, Russia), Tele2’s biggest mobile rivals, had teamed up to offer as much as $4.25 billion.

France Tel, Deutsche Tel line up banks for EE market listing

Reuters

France Telecom has chosen Morgan Stanley and Bank of America Merrill Lynch to advise it on a potential initial public offering of EE, Britain's largest mobile operator, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Deutsche Telekom (Bonn, Germany) is expected to hire JP Morgan for the sale, multiple sources from the sector said, since the bank advised it in 2009 when the 50-50 joint venture with France Telecom (Paris, France) was formed.

Iliad aims to surprise on 4G launch

Xavier Niel, the founder of French mobile-phone upstart Iliad, has suggested the operator may be preparing to launch 4G services during an interview with the Europe1 radio station.

“We will try to provide a surprise one day,” he is quoted as saying by Dow Jones Newswires.

The operator has been advancing rapidly in the 2G and 3G markets since launching services in early 2012 at a fraction of the prices charged by the country’s incumbents.

Fridman seemingly at war with himself in Tele2 battle

Reuters

Investors may be puzzled why billionaire Mikhail Fridman seemed to be bidding against himself for a telecoms company that is no longer for sale.

Fridman is linked with two bids for the Russian unit of Nordic operator Tele2 (Stockholm, Sweden) - one from his A1 vehicle and the other, at a higher price, from MTS (Moscow, Russia) and Vimpelcom (Moscow, Russia), in which he is a leading investor.

Verizon denies interest in Vodafone bid

Verizon has rebuffed reports that it is planning a joint bid with AT&T for UK operator Vodafone.

Earlier this week, the UK’s Financial Times newspaper cited “usually reliable people” as saying that AT&T (Dallas, TX, USA) and Verizon (New York City, NY, USA) were preparing a complex $245 billion bid that would see Verizon take full control of Verizon Wireless – its mobile joint venture with Vodafone (Newbury, UK) – while AT&T acquired the rest of Vodafone’s assets.

TeliaSonera gives up on selling Yoigo

Scandinavian operator TeliaSonera has given up on attempts to sell Yoigo, its Spanish subsidiary, indicating that offers it has received do not match its own valuation of the business.

“Yoigo [Alcobendas, Spain) has great potential for further development, but as its market strategy does not quite match our other operations, we have been prepared to divest it if we were offered a price which fully reflects its future potential,” said Per-Arne Blomquist, the chief executive of TeliaSonera (Stockholm, Sweden), in a statement.

Bouygues launches 4G service sales drive

Reuters

Bouygues Telecom will add 200 sales staff to its call centers after winning the right to re-use mobile frequencies once used for voice calls for superfast mobile broadband, its chief executive told Le Figaro newspaper.

The move is a shift from last year's plan to cut over 500 jobs to cope with an intense price war brought on by the arrival of low-cost mobile group Iliad (Paris, France) .

Bharti Airtel and Nokia to sell services in Africa

India’s Bharti Airtel is partnering with Finnish phone maker Nokia on the sale of communications services in Africa, reports Dow Jones Newswires.

Under the contract signed this week, Bharti Airtel (New Delhi, India) will reportedly sell Nokia (Helsinki, Finland) services that include mobile-phone software and an internet browser.

Customers will be able to pay for the products through their normal billing arrangements with Bharti Airtel.

The Indian operator plans to launch the services in Kenya before introducing them to other East African markets.

MetroPCS promotes T-Mobile deal after advisers pan it

Reuters

MetroPCS Communications Inc urged shareholders to support its proposed merger with Deutsche Telekom AG's unit T-Mobile USA after two proxy advisory firms recommended that shareholders vote against it.

Proxy advisers Glass Lewis (San Francisco, CA, USA) and ISS (Rockville, MD, USA) have backed efforts by two key activist investors to block the deal by recommending that shareholders vote against it at a special meeting on April 12.

Telekom Austria turns unlimited data model on its head

Reuters

Telekom Austria has announced new mobile deals abandoning the unlimited data packages that have become commonplace and instead offering free voice and text messages.

The move, in Europe's most keenly-priced market, is a bet that soaring data usage can replace dwindling revenues from the former cash cows of voice and texts, which are coming under pressure from Web-based competitors.

Telekom Austria said on Thursday it would offer only the new tariffs after existing contracts ran out.

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