BlackBerry may put itself up for sale


Struggling smartphone maker BlackBerry Ltd is weighing options that could include an outright sale, it said on Monday, and its largest shareholder is stepping down from its board to avoid any possible conflict of interest.

BlackBerry (Waterloo, Canada), which pioneered mobile email with its first smartphones and email pagers, said on Monday it had set up a committee to review its options, sparking a debate over whether Canada's one-time crown jewel is more valuable as a whole or snapped up piece by piece by competitors or private investors.

Orbcomm flags revenue increase on takeovers, new product sales

Satellite operator and M2M specialist Orbcomm saw second-quarter revenues increase at a double-digit rate thanks to growing subscriber numbers and buoyed by takeover activity.

The operator’s sales rose by 13.7%, compared with the same period last year, to $18.6 million, with the acquisitions of GlobalTrak and MobileNet contributing $500,000 to overall revenues.

Nevertheless, rising costs associated with the takeovers plus investments in product development triggered a 10.4% fall in net income, to $1.67 million.

Novatel loss widens despite improved M2M sales

Module maker Novatel Wireless has reported a fall in profits and revenues on the back of weakening demand for its range of mobile computing products.

Despite growing interest in the company’s M2M business, Novatel’s (San Diego, CA, USA) net loss widened to $7.89 million for the three months ending June from one of $4.52 for the same period last year.

Revenues, meanwhile, fell by 11.1% over the same period, to $91.12m, but showed a 6% improvement over sales recorded for the three months ending March.

Numerex results hit by managed-services investments

M2M player Numerex swung to a net loss of for the three months ending June, owing mainly to impairment charges on discontinued operations, but said it will continue to focus on developing managed services for the asset tracking and security markets, with revenues and subscriptions growing at a healthy clip.

Like various M2M hardware rivals, Numerex (Atlanta, GA, USA) is aiming to grow subscription-based revenues from the sale of managed services – a move that has prompted the company to close some of its legacy operations.

Telekom Austria posts earnings decline in "challenging" conditions

Telekom Austria has blamed a fall in earnings for the three months ending June on a mixture of competition, challenging economic conditions and unfavorable regulation.

The Austrian telecoms incumbent saw earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) fall by 9.5%, compared with the same period of 2012, to €330.3 million ($439 million), while revenues slipped by 1.9%, to €1.04 billion.

Thanks to a fall in depreciation and amortization charges, plus lower interest payments, the operator was able to report a 54.2% rise in net income, to €52.5 million.

NII Holdings sells LatAm assets to American Tower for $811 million

In a classic sale-and-leaseback arrangement, NII Holdings has agreed the $811 million sale of nearly 4,500 towers in Latin America to infrastructure company American Tower.

The company, which operates mobile businesses under the Nextel brand in Latin America, is to sell 2,790 towers in Brazil, for the sum of $413 million, and another 1,666 in Mexico, for $398 million.

NII Holdings (Reston, VA, USA) will then lease the towers from their new owner for a period of at least 12 years.

Indonesia's Protelindo to receive $50 million from World Bank

Indonesian tower owner and operator Protelindo is to receive a $50 million investment from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a part of the World Bank.

The investment is intended to help Protelindo (Jakarta, Indonesia) build more towers and expand mobile coverage on the islands of Java, Sumatra and Kalimantan, as well as other parts of the country.

Scartel acquisition to give MegaFon the 4G edge: Fitch

MegaFon’s planned takeover of Scartel will put it at the top of a three-tier market for the provision of next-generation mobile services in Russia, according to a statement from ratings agency Fitch.

Scartel (Moscow, Russia) had originally set itself up with the intention of building a 4G LTE network that could be used by all of Russia’s main cellular operators, but it has failed to attract any customer besides MegaFon (Moscow, Russia).

Harbinger sues Deere and GPS companies for $1.9 billion in damages


Philip Falcone's Harbinger Capital on Friday sued agricultural equipment maker Deere & Co and Global Positioning System companies and groups for damages of $1.9 billion as it looks to recoup its investment in bankrupt wireless company LightSquared.

America Movil makes $9.6 billion bid for rest of KPN


Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim's America Movil defied arch-rival Telefonica with a 7.2 billion euro ($9.6 billion) bid for the 70 percent of Dutch telecoms group KPN that it does not already own.

Spain's Telefonica (Madrid) made an $11 billion offer last month to buy KPN's (The Hague, Netherlands) crown jewel, Germany's E-Plus, disrupting America Movil's (Mexico City, Mexico) expensive - and on paper money-losing - foray into Europe.

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