Telefonica weighing sale of O2 Ireland: report

Spain’s Telefonica is considering whether to sell its Irish subsidiary as a means of reducing debts, according to a report from the Financial Times.

Citing a source familiar with the situation, the newspaper reports that Telefonica (Madrid, Spain) has received expressions of interest in O2 Ireland and is considering the offers.

A deal could generate as much as €700 million ($911 million) for the Spanish operator, according to the report.

Altimo not to re-bid for Orascom Telecom shares

Russian investment group Altimo has said it has no intention of embarking on a second attempt to buy out minority shareholders in Orascom Telecom, after Egyptian financial authorities scuppered its efforts to reopen the original tender.

Altimo (Moscow, Russia) indirectly owns 24.85% of Orascom Telecom (Cairo, Egypt) through its 47.85% stake in VimpelCom (Amsterdam, Netherlands), the Egyptian company’s majority owner.

Sprint, SoftBank reach deal with US over security concerns

Reuters

Sprint Nextel Corp and Japan's SoftBank Corp have reached an agreement with U.S. authorities on the national security aspects of the Japanese firm's pending $20.1 billion deal to win control of the U.S. wireless carrier, people familiar with the matter said.

As a part of that agreement, the U.S. government will have a veto over new equipment purchases by Sprint in certain circumstances if the two companies merge, one source said.

Deutsche Telekom mulling Eastern European acquisitions

Deutsche Telekom is mulling two acquisitions in Eastern Europe as it looks to reinvigorate operations in a region beset by regulatory and economic challenges, according to a report from Dow Jones Newswires.

Citing sources familiar with the matter, Dow Jones claims the German incumbent is pursuing a takeover of GTS Central Europe (Warsaw, Poland), a broadband optical and IP network provider.

Currently owned by a group of financial investors, Deutsche Telekom (Bonn, Germany) is said to be in discussions to pay around €600 million ($775.7 million) for the asset.

France Telecom to become Orange

Shareholders of France Telecom have voted in favor of changing the operator’s name to Orange, the brand it already uses across its commercial operations.

The name change is to come into effect on July 1 and is described by the company as a “natural step in the process towards the simplification and unity of the Group’s activities”.

The former state-owned monopoly says it has been working on simplifying its visual identity in France and other markets since 2006, with fixed, mobile, internet and TV services all now offered under the Orange brand.

Telefonica and MegaFon form strategic partnership

Spain’s Telefonica and Russia’s MegaFon have announced details of a new strategic partnership designed to lower operating costs and spur innovation.

The deal brings together Spain’s former state-owned monopoly and the third-biggest mobile-phone operator in Russia, behind MTS (Moscow, Russia) and VimpelCom (Amsterdam, Netherlands), and will see the two companies team up on procurement to lower the cost of equipment purchases and also exchange technological know-how.

Dish and Ntelos to jointly develop broadband service

Reuters

Satellite TV provider Dish Network Corp and wireless network provider nTelos Holdings Corp said they would jointly develop a broadband service within nTelos's coverage territory serving parts of Virginia, Maryland and a few other states.

Dish (Meridian, CO, USA) has been trying to diversify beyond its core pay-TV business that has matured and faces tough competition from cable, telecom and Internet video providers.

Sprint raises Clearwire offer, not enough for some

Sprint Nextel Corp raised its buyout offer for wireless service provider Clearwire Corp to $3.40 per share, but the new bid was not high enough to impress some investors.

Clearwire (Bellevue, WA, USA) shares almost immediately traded around the new offer price, having consistently traded well above the old $2.97-per-share bid. Sprint (Overland Park, KS, USA) announced the revised price just hours before Clearwire was due to hold a special meeting for shareholders to vote on the original offer.

Crest makes last-ditch stand against Sprint's Clearwire bid

Investment group Crest Financial has made a final plea to Clearwire shareholders not to support Sprint’s takeover of the wireless broadband operator just a day before their vote takes place.

In a letter sent to Clearwire (Bellevue, WA, USA) shareholders, Crest argues that a decision on Clearwire’s future owner should be delayed until Sprint’s own status is resolved.

VimpelCom net income boosted by cost-cutting program

VimpelCom has reported strong gains in first-quarter profits thanks to cost-cutting measures and a steady top-line performance.

Owned by Mikhail Fridman – the Russian billionaire – and Norwegian telecoms incumbent Telenor, the operator saw net income rise by 28%, to $408 million, compared with the same period last year, with revenues flat at $5.6 billion.

“These results demonstrate further progress on our Value Agenda and we remain on track to achieve our longer-term objectives,” said Jo Lunder, the chief executive of VimpelCom (Amsterdam, Netherlands).

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