Financial

Telefonica mulls IPO of LatAm businesses

Telefonica is weighing up whether to sell shares in its Latin American operations on the New York Stock Exchange, according to a report in Spain’s Expansion newspaper.

The various subsidiaries would be grouped into a Spanish holding company for trading sometime next year, reports the paper.

An IPO would help Telefonica (Madrid, Spain) to reduce its substantial pile of debt, which has continued to grow in recent years as the Spanish incumbent has expanded its international operations.

SFR to lay off 1,100 staff: report

French operator SFR may announce 1,100 redundancies later this week owing to the difficult operating conditions in France, according to a story in Les Echos newspaper that cited comments made by a labor union official.

The French mobile-phone operator is set to present a jobs-reduction scheme to unions on Wednesday, but is also expected to create 300 new jobs, according to Vanessa Jereb of the UNSA union.

New tax to cost Magyar Telekom up to $50 million a year

Magyar Telekom expects a new tax approved by Hungary’s parliament on Tuesday to cost it between HUF9 billion ($41 million) and HUF11 billion a year from 2013 onwards.

Hungarian authorities have levied a charge of HUF125 per meter on the owners of ducts that support electricity, telecoms, natural gas, heating, water and wastewater services.

Telecoms operators must pay 20% of the per-meter rate for the first 170,000 meters, 40% for the next 80,000, 80,000% for the 50,000 after that and the full rate for anything in excess of 300,000 meters.

MegaFon recruits former UK minister ahead of IPO

Russia’s MegaFon has appointed the UK’s former treasury minister Lord Paul Myners as a non-executive independent director as it tries to mollify concerns about its corporate governance ahead of an IPO in Moscow and London later this month.

Controlled through AF Telecom by Alisher Usmanov, a Russian oligarch born in Uzbekistan, MegaFon is hoping to raise about $2 billion from a sale of shares that will reduce the holdings of Sweden’s TeliaSonera (Stockholm, Sweden) and MegaFon’s managers.

Sawiris pursues $5 billion claim against Algeria

Weather Investments, controlled by Egyptian telecoms tycoon Naguib Sawiris, has filed a $5 billion claim against the government of Algeria for harassing and interfering with Djezzy, its former telecoms subsidiary in the country.

It has filed the claim with the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes, an arbitration tribunal that is a part of the World Bank.

Cisco to buy cloud networking start-up Meraki for $1.2 billion

Reuters

Networking equipment company Cisco Systems Inc said it will buy privately held cloud networking company Meraki for $1.2 billion in cash as part of its cloud and networking strategy.

Cisco (San Jose, USA) said the acquisition of Meraki (San Francisco, USA), which was founded in 2006 by members of MIT's Laboratory for Computer Science, is expected to close in the second quarter of Cisco's 2013 fiscal year and is subject to regulatory approval.

Cisco's second quarter runs until the end of January.

Ruckus Wireless shares fall in debut on higher pricing

Reuters

WiFi products maker Ruckus Wireless Inc failed to impress in its market debut after higher pricing of its offering tempered investor enthusiasm in a weak U.S. IPO market.

Shares of the company fell as much as 8 percent in its debut on Friday, a day after it priced its initial public offering of 8.4 million shares at $15 per share, the top end of its range.

At that price, the company is valued at $126 million.

Ruckus Wireless (Sunnyvale, USA) Chief Executive Selina Lo shrugged off the share movement saying one day was not an indication of overall performance.

Telecom Italia considering bid for GVT: report

Telecom Italia has expressed interest in buying GVT, the Brazilian telecoms operator owned by France’s Vivendi.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Marco Patuano, Telecom Italia’s chief operating officer, said the Italian incumbent would evaluate a purchase of GVT (Curitiba, Brazil) during its board meeting next month, but would need additional capital to fund the takeover.

Speaking at this week’s Morgan Stanley TMT conference, Patuano is reported to have said that Egypt’s Naguib Sawiris could provide the means to invest in GVT.

France Telecom open to partial flotation of EE: report

France Telecom is reportedly considering a partial flotation of its stake in EE, its UK mobile-phone joint venture with Deutsche Telekom.

Speaking at an investor conference organized by Morgan Stanley earlier this week, Gervais Pellissier, the French operator’s chief financial officer, hinted of a possible IPO towards the end of 2013 while emphasizing that France Telecom (Paris, France) and Deutsche Telekom (Bonn, Germany) have no plans to give up control of the entity.

Ruckus Wireless prices IPO at high end of range

Reuters

WiFi products maker Ruckus Wireless Inc priced its initial public offering at $15 per share, the high end of its expected price range, a market source told Reuters.

The company, which is backed by Google Inc's Motorola Mobility LLC (Mountain View, USA) and venture capital firm Sequoia Capital, raised $126 million by selling 8.4 million shares.

Ruckus (Sunnyvale, USA) offered 7 million shares while selling shareholders, including Telus Corp (Burnaby, Canada), offered 1.4 million shares.

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