Financial

SoftBank buys $1.5 billion stake in Finnish mobile games maker Supercell

Reuters

Japanese tech and telecoms group SoftBank Corp is paying 150 billion yen ($1.53 billion) for a 51 percent stake in Finnish mobile game maker Supercell, valuing the small maker of hit games "Clash of Clans" and "Hay Day" at $3 billion.

Softbank's (Tokyo, Japan) bid to claim a leading role in the fast-growing mobile games market makes 3-year-old Supercell (Helsinki, Finland), with about 100 employees and just two free-to-play games, more valuable than Zynga Inc (San Francisco, CA, USA), the $2.8 billion company behind former hits such as "FarmVille."

Telefonica in talks with PPF over sale of Czech subsidiary

Spanish telecoms incumbent Telefonica has acknowledged it is exploring “strategic alternatives” for its Czech subsidiary in a stock exchange filing.

The statement came in response to press speculation that Telefonica (Madrid, Spain) is planning to sell its 70% stake in Telefonica Czech Republic in a deal that could raise as much as $3.6 billion for the debt-burdened Spanish operator, based on the subsidiary’s current market value.

China's Huawei rules out large acquisitions: report

Reuters

China's Huawei, one of the world's largest telecoms network infrastructure providers, is not planning any large takeovers because it would be unable to integrate them, Deputy Chairman Guo Ping was reported as saying in German paper Welt am Sonntag.

Ping, one of three deputy chairmen who take turns acting as chief executive, was responding to the paper's question on whether he could imagine buying one of Europe's big players in the sector, such as Nokia (Helsinki, Finland) or Alcatel-Lucent (Paris, France).

Vodafone completes Kabel Deutschland takeover

The UK’s Vodafone has completed its €7.7 billion ($10.43 billion) takeover of Kabel Deutschland, according to a statement on the German cable company’s website.

The deal puts Vodafone (Newbury, UK) in control of 76.57% of Kabel Deutschland’s (Unterfoehring, Germany) shares and will aid its push into Germany’s high-speed broadband market and allow it to better compete against telecoms incumbent Deutsche Telekom (Bonn, Germany) on bundled packages that include fixed, broadband and mobile services.

Telefonica set to sell $3.6 billion Czech stake: sources

Reuters

Spanish telecoms group Telefonica has started preparing the sale of its $3.6 billion stake in its listed Czech unit, three sector bankers closely following the process but not directly involved said on Monday.

Telefonica (Madrid, Spain), which aims to cut its debt to under 47 billion euros ($64 billion) by the end of the year, has sold a number of assets to pay down borrowings, including its Irish business O2.

Analysts have long tipped Telefonica Czech Republic as an asset the group might shed. Telefonica reported net debt of 49.8 billion euros in mid-year results.

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.

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