Japan's Softbank to buy 70 percent of Sprint for $20.1 billion

Reuters

Japanese mobile operator Softbank Corp said it will buy about 70 percent of Sprint Nextel Corp, the third-largest U.S. carrier, for $20.1 billion - the most a Japanese firm has spent on an overseas acquisition.

Vivendi exploring merger between SFR and Numericable

Vivendi is exploring a merger between SFR, its French mobile-phone business, and Numericable, a cable operator in the country, reports the Financial Times.

Sources claim the French media conglomerate has been in discussions with Caryle, Cinven and Altice, the private-equity owners of Numericable (Paris, France), about combining the separate operations in a new company, in which Vivendi (Paris, France) would hold a 49% share and Numericable’s owners the controlling stake.

Satellite operator Avanti misses revenue targets

Satellite operator Avanti Communications (London, UK) disappointed financial markets with preliminary results for the recent financial year that missed expectations.

Having made a July forecast that revenues would come in at £17.8 million ($28.5 million), the company reported a top-line figure of just £15 million.

Although a substantial improvement on the £6.1 million generated the year before, the results triggered a sharp fall in Avanti’s share price in early morning trading.

Vivendi looking into sale of Maroc Telecom stake

Vivendi (Paris, France) is considering a sale of its controlling stake in Morocco’s largest telecoms operator, according to the Financial Times.

The French media conglomerate has reportedly hired Lazard and Crédit Agricole banks to look into the sale of its 53% stake in Maroc Telecom (Rabat, Morocco).

Such a divestment could raise as much as €4 billion for Vivendi, according to financiers cited by the FT.

Qtel doubles stake in Kuwait's Wataniya

In one of the biggest telecoms deals of the year so far, Qtel (Doha, Qatar) has raised its stake in Wataniya (Kuwait City, Kuwait) from 52.5% to 92.1% for a fee of 519.1 million Kuwaiti dinars ($1.85 billion), hoping to boost the performance of Kuwait’s number-two operator.

Qtel, which has emerged as a major regional player over the last few years, says that increasing its stake in Wataniya represents a major step forwards in its ongoing expansion strategy.

Deutsche Telekom in T-Mobile USA-MetroPCS merger talks

Reuters

Deutsche Telekom (Bonn, Germany) is in talks to merge its T-Mobile USA (Bellevue, USA) unit with MetroPCS (Richardson, USA) and take a majority stake in the combined wireless service provider, the German company said on Tuesday.

Deutsche Telekom, which has been looking for a way to bolster its customer-losing U.S. business, cautioned in a regulatory filing that the transaction was not a done deal because key issues had not yet been finalized.

Clearwire witnessing shareholder exodus

US wireless broadband operator Clearwire (Bellevue, USA) may be witnessing a shareholder exodus, with cable operator Comcast (Philadelphia, USA) becoming the latest investor to sour on the stock.

Comcast has not sold its 6% stake in Clearwire, but it has converted the holding into commonly traded shares, prompting speculation it is on the verge of doing so.

The news comes just days after Time Warner (New York, USA) began selling its 7.8% stake in the business. Other investors, including web giant Google (Mountain View, USA), have also sold their Clearwire shares.

Accenture buys Nokia Siemens IPTV assets

Reuters

Consulting and outsourcing group Accenture (Dublin, Ireland) has bought some internet protocol television (IPTV) assets from Nokia Siemens Networks (Helsinki, Finland) to bolster its online video capabilities, it said on Monday.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Accenture said the newly acquired IPTV software, assets and capabilities would be part of its video solutions business that helps companies launch video services at a low cost.

Operators back EU plan for broadband funding

Europe’s biggest telecoms operators have lent support to EU plans to invest in broadband infrastructure and urged political leaders to do the same.

Neelie Kroes, the EU’s digital commissioner, has asked countries to back a plan to provide around €50 billion in funding from the EU Connecting Europe Facility for energy, transport and communications projects, where there is a need for substantial upfront spending.

LightSquared begs FCC to let it use spectrum

Embattled US operator LightSquared (Reston, USA) has asked the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the US telecoms regulator, for permission to continue using frequencies that do not interfere with GPS systems while authorities address their concerns about its other spectrum holdings, according to Dow Jones Newswires.

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