Financial

Portugal Telecom to merge with Brazil's Oi

Portugal Telecom has announced plans to merge with Brazilian affiliate Oi in a move set to create a global operator serving more than 100 million customers across Europe and Latin America.

The Portuguese incumbent says the deal is a natural development of the alliance the two companies struck in 2010, and will see Zeinal Bava – who led Portugal Telecom (Lisbon, Portugal) until earlier this year before taking up the leadership role at Oi (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) – appointed chief executive of the combined entity.

Pakistan's PTCL launches bid for rival Warid: Reuters

Pakistani incumbent PTCL is reported to have launched a takeover bid for local mobile rival Warid, holding out the possibility of much-needed consolidation in the country’s beleaguered telecoms industry.

Backed by Middle Eastern telecoms giant Etisalat (Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates), PTCL (Islamabad, Pakistan) is said to have given notice of the bid through a filing to the Karachi stock exchange, according to Reuters, but details of the offer price or PTCL’s plans for the company were not disclosed.

Telecom Italia chief Bernabe preparing to quit: report

Telecom Italia chief executive Franco Bernabe is planning on tendering his resignation at a board meeting scheduled for later this week, reports Bloomberg.

The boss of Italy’s biggest phone company has reportedly lost the support of Telco, the Telefonica-controlled consortium that holds a 22.4% stake in Telecom Italia (Milan, Italy), after clashing with shareholders over the operator’s strategy.

America Movil delays KPN bid to October: Dow Jones

America Movil has shifted the timing of its planned takeover of Dutch incumbent KPN to October from September, as negotiations over the acquisition drag on, according to a report from Dow Jones Newswires.

The Latin American telecoms giant – owned by Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim – announced plans for a €7.2 billion takeover of KPN (The Hague, Netherlands) in August, but it has subsequently run into opposition from an independent foundation set up to protect the interests of the Dutch incumbent.

Telenor buys into Asian, South American classifieds market

Reuters

Norwegian telecoms group Telenor entered the online classifieds market on Monday, taking a stake in a Southeast Asian venture and establishing a South American business, it said in a statement.

Telenor (Fornebu, Norway) will take a 33.3 percent stake in Southeast Asia focused 701 Search, an existing venture between Singapore Press Holdings and Norwegian publishing house Schibsted, and agreed to establish a 50/50 joint venture with Schibsted to create SnT Classifieds with a focus on South America.

Etisalat talks to buy Vivendi's Maroc Tel stake extended to October 31

Reuters

Exclusive talks for Etisalat to buy Vivendi's 53 percent stake in Maroc Telecom have been extended to October 31, the United Arab Emirates' former telecom monopoly said on Sunday.

Vivendi (Paris, France) in July entered into exclusive negotiations with Etisalat (Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates) - the UAE's No.1 telecom operator - to sell its majority holding stake in Maroc Telecom (Rabat, Morocco) for 3.9 billion euros ($5.28 billion) in cash.

Ntelos reaches settlement with Sprint

Ntelos Holdings says it has reached a settlement with Sprint over disputes related to a strategic network alliance (SNA) between the two operators.

Under a deal dating back to 1999, Ntelos (Waynesboro, VA, USA) provides PCS services on a wholesale basis to Sprint (Overland Park, KS, USA) customers in parts of western Virginia and West Virginia, but in the last year or two the companies have fallen out over billing, among other issues.

Although terms of the agreement were not disclosed, Ntelos described it as a satisfactory outcome for both companies.

Telefonica tightens hold on Telecom Italia, avoids takeover bid

Reuters

Spanish telecoms group Telefonica has struck a deal to gradually secure control of Telecom Italia and its lucrative South American business without having to launch a full takeover bid.

The multi-part 860 million euro ($1.2 billion) cash and shares deal secured on Tuesday will allow Telefonica (Madrid, Spain) to raise its stake in Telco, the holding company controlling about 22 percent of Telecom Italia (Milan, Italy), allowing Telco's other investors, Intesa Sanpaolo (Turin, Italy), Generali (Trieste, Italy) and Mediobanca (Milan, Italy) to eventually bow out.

Russia's Megafon in talks to start bank

Reuters

Megafon, Russia's second-largest mobile phone company, may start up a bank to capitalize on growing interest among consumers in managing their finances on-the-go and to cross-sell services to existing customers.

Russian mobile operators, trying to boost profits in a maturing market, have been searching for avenues to earn more from their subscriber base.

Megafon (Moscow, Russia) would be following Russia's top mobile phone operator MTS (Moscow, Russia), which this year bought a stake in a bank from its parent company Sistema (Moscow, Russia).

AT&T deals for European wireless assets depend on price - CEO

Reuters

AT&T Inc Chief Executive Randall Stephenson said on Tuesday his company would buy wireless assets in Europe if there were available at the right price.

Stephenson declined to comment on potential deals during an appearance at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia conference. The executive said European operators were far behind the United states in investments in wireless broadband, mainly because regulatory policies regarding spectrum licenses discouraged investments in the region.

But he said when the policies change, broadband investments should take off.

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