Light Reading

Euronews: AlcaLu Sells India Unit

Paul Rainford

Alcatel-Lucent, Virgin Media Inc., Liberty Global Inc., KPN Telecom NV and ARM Ltd. take center stage in today's EMEA headline drama.

  • Alcatel-Lucent is selling its 74 percent stake in Alcatel Lucent Managed Network Service India, the joint venture set up in 2009 with Bharti Airtel Ltd. to manage the Indian operator's fixed line and broadband access network, to its JV partner. Bharti Airtel wants total ownership so it can pursue a new fixed line network asset strategy that could involve sharing its network with other infrastructure owners. Financial details were not disclosed. AlcaLu recently announced a $1 billion managed services deal with Airtel's main fixed broadband access rival, Reliance Communications Ltd. (RCom). (See Alcatel-Lucent Wins $1B Deal in India and AlcaLu, Bharti Form Joint Venture.)
  • U.K. cable operator Virgin Media is in talks about a possible takeover by Liberty Global, the U.S. cable giant that is looking to extend its European reach, reports Bloomberg. No financial details were disclosed. Liberty Global recently expanded its European empire by taking a controlling stake in Belgium's Telenet. (See Liberty, Virgin Media in Takeover Talks and Liberty Global Bids $2.5B for Telenet.)
  • Dutch incumbent KPN could only manage a €160 million (US$216 million) loss in the fourth quarter, compared with a profit of €176 million ($238 million) in the same period a year earlier. To help ease the strain on its balance sheet the operator has launched a €4 billion ($5.4 billion) rights issue, subject to shareholder approval. CEO Eelco Blok blamed "adverse macro-economic conditions" and intensified competition in the mobile sector for the disappointing results. (See Euronews: Slim's Stealthy Expansion.)
  • U.K. chip firm ARM is flourishing in what its CEO calls the "post PC era," seeing its fourth-quarter pre-tax profits rise 16 percent year-on-year to £80 million ($126 million) on revenues of £164.2 million ($262.8 million). In the fourth quarter ARM signed 36 processor licenses across a range of devices and applications and shipped 2.5 billion chips.
  • Portugal Telecom SGPS SA has struck a deal with Powa Technologies Ltd., a British e-commerce outfit, to deploy on its mobile network a small credit card reader that connects to smartphones via Bluetooth. This, reports the Financial Times (subscription required), enables, for example, tradespeople to accept card payments on the hoof via their mobiles.
  • Net profits in the fourth quarter were halved year-on-year at Nordic mobile operator Tele2 AB, slumping to 565 million Swedish kronor ($89.4 million) on revenues of SEK11.27 billion ($1.78 billion). Maturing markets in the formerly happy hunting grounds of Sweden and Russia form part of the problem for Tele2. — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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    User Rank: Lightning
    2/7/2013 | 3:16:02 PM
    re: Euronews: AlcaLu Sells India Unit
    Would ALU India be categorizing bharti jv as red and rcom as green, and hence exiting- I doubt.
    Btw - AlcaLu sells India unit sounds a misnomer to me .....
    Ray Le Maistre
    Ray Le Maistre,
    User Rank: Light Sabre
    2/5/2013 | 1:28:06 PM
    re: Euronews: AlcaLu Sells India Unit
    That AlcaLu deal with Bharti Airtel, for which the JV was set up, was due to be worth $500 million over 5 years to the vendor. Bharti says it's buying ALU out because it is setting up a new model in India to enable shared fixed networks but I wonder if this was one of the managed services deals that the ALU team identified as non-profitable and therefore prime for the axe?-á
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