Softbank signs $19.7 billion loan for Sprint acquisition

Japan’s Softbank says its board has approved the signing of a bridge loan contract for up to JPY1.65 trillion ($19.7 billion), which the company plans to use to fund its purchase of a controlling stake in US operator Sprint.

Softbank (Tokyo, Japan), Japan’s third-largest mobile-phone operator, announced plans to buy 70% of Sprint back in October for a fee of approximately $20 billion.

The deal would mark the largest foreign acquisition by a Japanese company of all time.

Alcatel-Lucent to build Tunisia fixed-line network for Qtel

Franco-American equipment maker Alcatel-Lucent has struck a deal with Qtel to build a high-speed, fibre-based network in Tunisia, as the Qatari incumbent prepares to enter the North African country’s fixed-line market.

In a statement, Alcatel-Lucent (Paris, France) said it had signed a four-year agreement with Tunisiana – a Qtel (Doha, Qatar) subsidiary that currently provides mobile-phone services in Tunisia – to build a fixed-line network that will support voice, high-speed broadband and video services for residential and business customers.

Softbank caps Sprint's Clearwire bid; investors want more


Sprint Nextel Corp's $2.1 billion offer to buy out Clearwire Corp appeared to be running into trouble on Thursday, as some shareholders said they wanted more money while Softbank Corp set a cap on how much Sprint could pay.

Sprint (Overland Park, USA), which owns 50.45 percent of Clearwire (Bellevue, USA), offered $2.90 per share for the rest of the company and said it would also provide interim financing of $800 million to the cash-strapped company. Any deal would need approval by Softbank (Tokyo, Japan), which has agreed to buy 70 percent of Sprint for about $20 billion.

Sprint offers $2.1 billion to buy rest of Clearwire


Sprint Nextel Corp, the majority owner of Clearwire Corp, has offered $2.1 billion to buy the rest of the wireless service provider but it will likely have to offer more money in order to secure a deal.

Clearwire (Bellevue, USA), which said it is reviewing the offer, saw its share jump more than 11 percent to $3.06 after the offer, topping Sprint's $2.90 offer price and suggesting that shareholders were hoping for a higher bid.

Sprint in talks to take full control of Clearwire

Sprint is in talks with Clearwire to acquire the 49% of the ailing mobile broadband operator it does not already own, according to CNBC.

Citing sources close to the matter, CNBC reports that the two companies are involved in “active negotiations” and could strike an agreement before the end of the year.

Redbox to launch video streaming service this month


Redbox kiosks owner Coinstar Inc and Verizon Communications Inc said they will launch a video streaming service later this month to take on video rental giant Netflix Inc.

The companies are set to launch their Redbox Instant video streaming service more than ten months after they first inked a joint venture.

Coinstar (Bellevue, USA) shares were up 3 percent at $52.50 on the Nasdaq on Wednesday morning. While Netflix (Los Gatos, USA) shares were down marginally at $86.24.

Huawei wins managed-services deal with 3UK

Chinese equipment maker Huawei continues to make inroads into territory previously held by its western rivals, having just signed an important managed-services deal with 3UK, the small UK operator owned by Hutchison Whampoa (Hong Kong).

The arrangement will see Huawei (Shenzhen, China) handling service management and operations for 3UK’s core network, transport network and ICT applications.

It has chosen India’s Tech Mahindra (Pune, India) as a partner for the work on ICT applications.

Deutsche Telekom hopes investments will soften dividend blow


Deutsche Telekom hopes major investments in Germany and the United States and a long-awaited iPhone deal will turn around its fortunes, compensating for the dividend cut it plans to pay for them.

The company said it would increase investments by more than an annual 1 billion euros ($1.3 billion) to 9.5 billion euros in 2015 from an estimated 8.3 billion euros this year, rolling out faster broadband and next generation 4G networks, as it cut its dividend by almost 30 percent.

TPSA sees Polish telco market tumbling further in 2013


France Telecom's Polish unit TPSA expects its home telecoms market, which it dominates, to shrink by over seven percent next year because of economic woes and further regulatory cuts in mobile charges, its top executive said.

TPSA (Warsaw, Poland), the former state monopolist, already slashed its 2012 outlook and future dividend payout last month due to economic factors and aggressive competitors, dragging its shares to levels unseen in nine years.

France Telecom interested in Vivendi's Moroccan unit: report

France Telecom’s chief executive has said an acquisition of Vivendi’s stake in Maroc Telecom would have “strategic interest” in an interview with France’s Le Figaro newspaper.

Stephane Richards said valuing the Moroccan business was out of the question, but that an acquisition could make sense for the French telecoms incumbent.

He acknowledged, however, that France Telecom (Paris, France) would struggle to fund a purchase given its current high level of debt and depressed share price.

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