Financial

Bharti Airtel lead contender for Loop Mobile takeover: Times of India

Bharti Airtel is the lead contender to acquire Mumbai operator Loop Mobile, according to various sources cited by the Times of India.

A report from the Indian publication claims that negotiations between Bharti Airtel (New Delhi, India) and Loop’s (Mumbai, India) current owners – Dubai-based IP Khaitan and family – have recently gathered momentum.

However, Bharti Airtel wants further clarity on the renewal fee for Loop’s license, which is due to expire in September 2014, before it begins discussions about the valuation of the business.

Finland's DNA on lookout for new CEO

Finnish operator DNA has announced that chief executive Riita Tiurnaniemi is to leave the company and says it hopes to find a replacement by the end of the year.

In a statement, DNA (Helsinki, Finland) said Tiurnaniemi’s successor would need to be a dynamic leader with a clear vision about future opportunities for the company, which operates Finland’s third-biggest mobile network and lies in joint third place in the country’s broadband market.

Three UK scraps roaming fees

UK mobile operator Three has made the bold move of scrapping the additional fees that customers pay to use phone services when travelling in a number of foreign countries.

Through its new ‘Feel at Home’ service, customers will be able to use voice, messaging and data services at their normal monthly rates when travelling to seven countries, including the Republic of Ireland, Australia, Italy, Austria, Hong Kong, Sweden and Denmark.

Subscribers will only start to incur additional ‘roaming’ fees in those countries if they exceed their monthly usage limits.

Canada's Harper says wireless rules do not favor foreign players

Reuters

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Thursday disputed claims by his country's leading wireless companies that his government's telecommunications rules give unfair advantages to foreign players like Verizon Communications Inc.

Canada's three biggest wireless companies - Rogers Communications (Toronto, Canada), BCE Inc (Montreal, Canada) and Telus Corp (Burnaby, Canada) - are asking the Conservative government to rethink its rules for next January's auction of wireless spectrum, saying the playing field is slanted in favor of a Verizon (New York City, NY, USA).

Alcatel-Lucent appoints former Goldman Sachs partner as CFO

Telecoms equipment maker Alcatel-Lucent has announced that Jean Raby will become its new chief financial and legal officer on September 1.

Raby is set to take over from current chief financial officer Paul Tufano, who is departing amid further organizational changes at the company, aimed at reducing its activities to a smaller number of profitable areas.

Sprint to cut 800 customer services jobs: AP

US operator Sprint is to slash 800 jobs in its customer services department because fewer people are making calls to its centers, reports the Associated Press.

Despite the redundancies, the operator is reported to have said it expected its overall number of employees to remain at about 40,000 because of hiring in other parts of the business, including at its retail stores.

The operator also attributed the decrease in calls to its centers to an improvement in levels of customer satisfaction.

Telecom Italia appoints Di Loreto personnel chief: Bloomberg

Telecom Italia has reportedly hired Mario Di Loreto from Italian food company Barilla to head its personnel department.

Citing sources familiar with the matter, Bloomberg says Di Loreto will take up his new position at the beginning of September, replacing Antonio Migliardi, who is resigning after five years in the job.

According to the report, the appointment will be critical to the success of the Italian incumbent’s plan to spin off its fixed-line network, which is set to involve the transfer of some 20,000 employees.

PE firm to take Globecomm private for $340 million

Reuters

Satellite communications provider Globecomm Systems Inc agreed to be taken private by investment firm Wasserstein & Co for about $340 million.

Wasserstein's offer of $14.15 per share in cash represents a 1.73 percent discount to Globecomm's (Hauppauge, NY, USA) closing price on Friday.

Globecomm shares fell 3 percent to $13.95 on the Nasdaq on Monday morning, trading well below the offer price. The stock had risen 24 percent to Friday since the company said in January that it was exploring strategic alternatives.

BlackBerry eyes spinoff of messaging service: WSJ

Reuters

BlackBerry Ltd is considering spinning off its messaging service into a separate unit, the Wall Street Journal said on Tuesday, quoting people familiar with the matter.

The subsidiary would be called BBM Inc, the newspaper said.

A BlackBerry (Waterloo, Canada) spokeswoman told Reuters the company cannot comment on rumor and speculation.

Qualcomm sells Omnitracs to Vista for $800 million

US chipmaking giant Qualcomm has sold its Omnitracs telematics division to private-equity player Vista for the sum of $800 million in cash.

The deal is to include all the Omnitracs operations in the US, Canada and Latin America, as well as Sylectus and FleetRisk Advisors – telematics businesses that Omnitracs bought in 2011.

The transaction is expected to close between October and December after the companies have secured the necessary regulatory approvals.

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