Financial

Eutelsat announces $831 million takeover of Mexico's Satmex

French satellite operator Eutelsat has agreed an $831 million takeover of Mexico’s Satmex as it works on expanding its presence in so-called “high growth markets”.

Announced on Wednesday, the deal will see Eutelsat (Paris, France) pay $831 million in cash and assume the Satmex’s (Mexico City, Mexico) net debt of $311 million in exchange for 100% of the company.

Bharti Airtel reports 9.2% revenue growth on surge in customer spending

India’s Bharti Airtel has reported falling profits for the three months ending June 2013, despite growing its revenues, due to foreign exchange losses and rising tax charges in Africa.

The operator reported net income of INR6.89 billion ($113 million), compared with INR7.62 billion this time last year, and saw revenues rise by 9.2%, to INR20.3 billion, over the same period.

Bharti (New Delhi, India) has continued to grow its customer base, adding another 3.7 million subscribers over the recent three-month period to give it nearly 275 million customers in total.

BT Retail to split into separate consumer, business units

UK telecoms incumbent BT Group is to split its Retail unit into separate consumer- and business-facing organizations when Gavin Patterson takes over from Ian Livingston as chief executive in September this year.

Called simply BT Consumer and BT Business, the new divisions are being created to help BT (London, UK) focus on its strategic priorities of “driving broadband-based consumer services” and “being the brand for business for UK SMEs”, said the operator in a statement.

Sprint posts wider quarterly loss on steep costs

Reuters

Sprint Corp, the No. 3 U.S. mobile service provider, posted a wider quarterly loss due to hefty costs from shutting down its older Nextel network and it warned that customer defections would continue to hurt it in coming quarters.

Shares in Sprint (Overland Park, KS, USA), which recently sold 78 percent of its shares to Japan's SoftBank Corp (Tokyo), rose 1 percent on Tuesday morning as its revenue was better than expected.

VimpelCom to sell African assets, bid for Pakistan's Warid: Reuters

VimpelCom has agreed to sell two businesses in Africa and decided to bid for control of Pakistan’s Warid Telecom, according to banking sources cited by Reuters.

The operator, which runs businesses in Russia, Italy and across a number of emerging markets, is reportedly to sell Telecel Global, which operates in Burundi and the Central African Republic, to Neil Telecom, an operator focused on emerging markets and owned by Laurent Foucher, an African investor.

Sources have told Reuters that the deal is subject to regulatory approval.

America Movil free to increase stake in KPN beyond 30%

America Movil has terminated a “relationship agreement” with KPN that will now allow it to increase its stake in the Dutch operator to 30% or more.

The Latin American telecoms giant currently owns just less than 30% of KPN (The Hague, Netherlands) and until now was prohibited from increasing its stake in the operator under the agreement.

According to a clause in that agreement, however, the ownership restriction would cease to apply if KPN or a KPN subsidiary agreed to a takeover offer from another party.

Zain posts 20% drop in first-half net income

Kuwait-based Zain has reported a 20% drop in net income for the first half of the year, to KWD113 million ($397.4 million), with adverse currency movements in Sudan largely to blame for the setback.

The company, which owns telecoms businesses across the Middle East and parts of Africa, also reported an 8% fall in revenue, to KWD612 million.

Bell Canada hits out at 'Verizon-friendly' regulation

Canadian telecoms giant Bell Canada has issued a strongly worded statement in which it urges authorities to close loopholes in federal regulations that it claims hand a big advantage to US operators like Verizon Wireless.

According to the operator, legislation designed to aid smaller new entrants allows big US operators to gain access to spectrum denied the Canadian incumbents.

MetroPCS doubles operating markets to compete with Leap

Reuters

T-Mobile US Inc, the No. 4 U.S. mobile service provider, said on Thursday that its MetroPCS prepaid wireless business has doubled the number of markets where it operates, putting it head-to-head against smaller rival Leap Wireless in many of its new markets.

Both Leap (San Diego, CA, USA), which agreed to be bought by No 2 U.S. mobile service provider AT&T Inc (Dallas, TX, USA), and MetroPCS (Richardson, TX, USA), which merged with T-Mobile (Bellevue, WA, USA) less than three months ago, target cost-conscious customers who pay for calls in advance.

BlackBerry lays off 250 employees in latest round of cuts

Reuters

BlackBerry Ltd has laid off about 250 of its employees at its headquarters in Waterloo, Ontario, as part of its latest move to trim costs, the smartphone maker said on Thursday.

"This is part of the next stage of our turnaround plan to increase efficiencies and scale our company," a BlackBerry (Waterloo, Canada) spokeswoman said.

The company, which last year cut thousands of jobs, recently hinted that more reductions were in the offing.

Last month, BlackBerry reported dismal quarterly results, which triggered a 28 percent plunge in its share price.

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