Financial

Bharti Airtel looking to merge Indian, African operations

Bharti Airtel, India’s biggest mobile-phone operator, is set for a radical restructuring that will see its Indian and African businesses united under one global chief executive, reports Indian newspaper the Economic Times.

Manoj Kohli, the current chief executive of the African operations, is thought to be favorite to take on the new leadership role, with the changes coming into effect during the first half of 2013.

China's ZTE to post nine-month loss of up to 1.75 billion yuan

Reuters

Chinese mobile phone and telecoms equipment maker ZTE Corp (Shenzhen, China) will report a loss of as much as 1.75 billion yuan ($279.2 million) in the first 9 months of 2012, it said in a preliminary results announcement on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on Sunday.

The Shenzhen-based company has suffered as a slowing economy has hurt sales and margins have come under pressure. ZTE said its loss will be between 1.65 billion yuan and 1.75 billion yuan. That could be a fall of more than 260 percent compared with the same period last year.

Satellite operator Avanti misses revenue targets

Satellite operator Avanti Communications (London, UK) disappointed financial markets with preliminary results for the recent financial year that missed expectations.

Having made a July forecast that revenues would come in at £17.8 million ($28.5 million), the company reported a top-line figure of just £15 million.

Although a substantial improvement on the £6.1 million generated the year before, the results triggered a sharp fall in Avanti’s share price in early morning trading.

RACO Wireless gets private-equity boost, forecasts M2M surge

Private-equity group Inverness Graham Investments (Newtown Square, USA) has taken a majority stake in RACO Wireless (Cincinnati, USA) as the M2M specialist reveals its acquisition intentions and predicts a “significant surge” in the growth of the market.

Vivendi looking into sale of Maroc Telecom stake

Vivendi (Paris, France) is considering a sale of its controlling stake in Morocco’s largest telecoms operator, according to the Financial Times.

The French media conglomerate has reportedly hired Lazard and Crédit Agricole banks to look into the sale of its 53% stake in Maroc Telecom (Rabat, Morocco).

Such a divestment could raise as much as €4 billion for Vivendi, according to financiers cited by the FT.

Ruckus Wireless files for IPO of up to $100 million

Reuters

WiFi products maker Ruckus Wireless Inc (Sunnyvale, USA) filed with U.S. regulators on Friday to raise up to $100 million in an initial public offering of common stock.

The Sunnyvale, California-based company, which makes wireless LAN products for both indoor and outdoor use, intends to list its stock under the symbol "RKUS."

The company however did not specify the stock exchange it intended to list on, the number of shares it planned to sell and their expected price.

Qtel doubles stake in Kuwait's Wataniya

In one of the biggest telecoms deals of the year so far, Qtel (Doha, Qatar) has raised its stake in Wataniya (Kuwait City, Kuwait) from 52.5% to 92.1% for a fee of 519.1 million Kuwaiti dinars ($1.85 billion), hoping to boost the performance of Kuwait’s number-two operator.

Qtel, which has emerged as a major regional player over the last few years, says that increasing its stake in Wataniya represents a major step forwards in its ongoing expansion strategy.

Deutsche Telekom in T-Mobile USA-MetroPCS merger talks

Reuters

Deutsche Telekom (Bonn, Germany) is in talks to merge its T-Mobile USA (Bellevue, USA) unit with MetroPCS (Richardson, USA) and take a majority stake in the combined wireless service provider, the German company said on Tuesday.

Deutsche Telekom, which has been looking for a way to bolster its customer-losing U.S. business, cautioned in a regulatory filing that the transaction was not a done deal because key issues had not yet been finalized.

Clearwire witnessing shareholder exodus

US wireless broadband operator Clearwire (Bellevue, USA) may be witnessing a shareholder exodus, with cable operator Comcast (Philadelphia, USA) becoming the latest investor to sour on the stock.

Comcast has not sold its 6% stake in Clearwire, but it has converted the holding into commonly traded shares, prompting speculation it is on the verge of doing so.

The news comes just days after Time Warner (New York, USA) began selling its 7.8% stake in the business. Other investors, including web giant Google (Mountain View, USA), have also sold their Clearwire shares.

Operators back EU plan for broadband funding

Europe’s biggest telecoms operators have lent support to EU plans to invest in broadband infrastructure and urged political leaders to do the same.

Neelie Kroes, the EU’s digital commissioner, has asked countries to back a plan to provide around €50 billion in funding from the EU Connecting Europe Facility for energy, transport and communications projects, where there is a need for substantial upfront spending.

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