Financial

TIM CEO says Telecom Italia trying not to sell: paper

Reuters

Brazilian phone company TIM Participacoes SA is not up for sale, its chief executive told a local newspaper, denying reports that Telecom Italia SpA wants to sell its 67 percent stake.

A sale of Brazil's No. 2 wireless company is one option being considered by Telecom Italia's (Milan, Italy) new chief executive, Marco Patuano, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters last week. Patuano is under pressure from Telecom Italia's top shareholder, Spanish group Telefonica SA (Madrid, Spain), to cut debt through asset sales.

AT&T joins new M2M trade group

Leading US operator AT&T has thrown its considerable weight behind a new trade organization set up to foster the growth of M2M technology.

The operator has been unveiled as the newest member of the International M2M Council (IMC), which was formed earlier this year by a group of high-profile companies involved in the M2M industry.

Sierra Wireless to pay $5.9 million for AnyDATA assets

M2M player Sierra Wireless has announced a $5.9 million takeover of AnyDATA’s embedded modules business as it looks to strengthen its grip on the cellular market and boost its position in South Korea.

The assets are to be integrated with the Sierra Wireless (Richmond, Canada) OEM Solutions product portfolio, with 16 sales and engineering staff from AnyDATA’s (Irvine, CA, USA) South Korean subsidiary transferring to Seoul premises recently opened by Sierra Wireless.

The companies expect the deal to close sometime this month.

Zain Bahrain strikes managed-services deal with Ericsson

Middle Eastern telecoms operator Zain Bahrain has signed a managed-services deal with Ericsson as it looks to free up resources for investment in higher-end services and offerings.

The four-year agreement will see the operator transfer responsibility to Ericsson (Stockholm, Sweden) for handling the day-to-day operations of its network.

Similar deals have been struck in other parts of the world as companies try to improve their operating efficiency and focus efforts on improving their service offerings.

Telecom firms urge EU to reconsider plan to overhaul sector

Reuters

Telecom firm bosses on Tuesday urged the European Commission to reconsider a major reform package which includes a price cap on cross-border phone calls and an end to roaming fees, and to allow more consolidation in the sector.

Their opposition throws up obstacles for the proposals championed by EU telecom chief Neelie Kroes which aim to spur companies to invest to help Europe catch up with the fast mobile and broadband networks in the United States and Asia.

AT&T CEO sees 'huge opportunity' in Europe

Reuters

AT&T Inc Chief Executive Randall Stephenson on Tuesday said that he sees a "huge opportunity for somebody" in Europe to invest in mobile broadband and reap the big profits already being generated from such services in the United States.

Stephenson, who has been exploring opportunities for AT&T (Dallas, TX, USA) to expand into Europe, said Europe has the potential to be "incredibly exciting" during his appearance at an industry conference held by ETNO, the European telecommunications lobby.

Time Warner Cable agrees $600 million DukeNet takeover

US cable company Time Warner Cable has agreed a $600 million takeover of DukeNet Communications, which operates a fiber-optic network across various Southeastern states.

DukeNet (Charlotte, NC, USA) is currently 50% owned by Duke Energy (Charlotte, NC, USA), the country’s largest electric power holding company, with the other 50% held by investment firm Alinda Capital (Greenwich, CT, USA).

The companies expect the transaction to close in the first quarter of 2014, subject to normal regulatory approvals.

Telecom Italia eyes Italy restructuring, halts network plan - union

Reuters

Telecom Italia's new chief executive Marco Patuano will unveil a business plan outlining the future of its South American units and a possible corporate restructuring in Italy at a board meeting on November 7, trade union officials said.

Patuano told a meeting with unions on Friday the heavily indebted former phone monopoly had put on hold a plan to spin off its fixed-line network because the right regulatory conditions were not in place, they said in a joint statement.

Bank Rossiya moves to buy half of Tele2 Russia: reports

Private lender Bank Rossiya has reportedly filed applications to buy a 50% stake in mobile operator Tele2 Russia.

According to Russia’s Interfax news agency, the applications were made through Invinte and ABR Investments, two offshore companies.

Tele2 Russia (Moscow, Russia) is currently owned by VTB Bank (St Petersburg, Russia), Russia’s second-biggest lender, which bought the operator from its Swedish parent company for $3.55 billion in April this year.

BlackBerry shares rise on interest from strategic buyers

Reuters

Shares of BlackBerry Ltd rose more than 4 percent in trading before the bell on Monday, following news of interest from strategic buyers in the embattled smartphone company and an analyst upgrade on the company's stock.

Shares in the company rose above the $8 mark after a Reuters report on Friday that the Waterloo, Ontario-based company is in talks with Cisco Systems (San Jose, CA, USA), Google Inc (Mountain View, CA, USA) and SAP (Walldorf, Germany) about selling them all or parts of itself.

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