Light Reading

Euronews: Virgin CEO to Exit After Takeover

Paul Rainford

Liberty Global Inc., Virgin Media Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. do their thang in today's jog through the EMEA headlines.

  • Tuesday night saw confirmation of the deal between Liberty Global and Virgin Media, with the U.S.-based cable giant agreeing to take over the U.K. service provider for US$23.3 billion in cash and stock. The announcement was the cue for incumbent Virgin CEO Neil Berkett to announce he was leaving, saying in a conference call: "I’m not a very good No. 2." (See Liberty Makes $23.3B Play for Virgin Media.)
  • The European Telecommunications Network Operators' Association (ETNO) has criticized proposed cuts to European Union funding for telecom infrastructure, reports Reuters. European Council President Herman Van Rompuy has recommended a 25 percent cut in the €9.2 billion ($12.4 billion) budget originally set aside for the expansion of broadband networks. (See Europe's Telco Services Suffer Shrinkage.)
  • Microsoft is getting busy with its 4Afrika Initiative on a couple of fronts: First, it has set in motion a program to bring more smartphones to young African entrepreneurs, the first strand of which sees a partnership with Huawei to launch the Huawei 4Afrika Windows Phone handset in selected African countries; and, second, it is collaborating with the Kenyan government on a pilot project to deliver low-cost wireless broadband access to previously unserved locations near Nanyuki and Kalema, using TV "white spaces" and solar-powered base stations.
  • Brits have in recent times been plagued by nuisance calls, often automated ones from vultures trying to make money out of the "payment protection insurance" mis-selling claims racket, and now BT is itself looking to capitalize on the problem with the launch of a new phone, the BT6500, which allows customers to block calls from "International", "Withheld" and other troublesome categories of call. Euronews predicts this is going to be a winner. — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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    Jeff Baumgartner
    Jeff Baumgartner,
    User Rank: Light Beer
    2/6/2013 | 4:16:19 PM
    re: Euronews: Virgin CEO to Exit After Takeover
    To avoid obvious gun-jumping, Liberty Global hasn't started the process of-áfinding-á a replacement for Berkett, but Liberty Global Presidnet & CEO Michael Fries said on today's call that he feels "extremely comfortable" with Berkett's team and hopes he can keep all of them.-á

    As an important side note, Liberty Global intends to -áwill "redomicile" from Delaware to the U.K. and-áecome a subsidiary of the new-áUK plc. holding company. -áLiberty Global's current headquarters in Colorado and other "principal offices" will remain in place. JB
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