Light Reading
In today's EMEA roundup: Group CEO Levy leaves, new head for SFR; Brussels not keen on Austrian deal; Spanish connection hurts Telefónica

Euronews: All Change at Vivendi

Paul Rainford
6/29/2012
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Vivendi , Orange Austria Telecommunication GmbH. and Telefónica SA (NYSE: TEF) lead Friday's charge into the news thickets of EMEA telecom.

  • There's major upheaval at French conglomerate Vivendi, as CEO Jean-Bernard Levy departs following a "strategy dispute" with the group's supervisory board, reports Reuters. Also, Michael Combes, whom Levy had poached from Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD) to take the helm of beleaguered mobile unit SFR , will now no longer be coming to Vivendi, and human resources head Stephane Roussel will take the role instead. (See Euronews: Vivendi Vexed Over Free Ride and Vodafone Sells SFR Stake for $11B.)

  • The European Commission has launched an "in depth" investigation into the proposed takoever of Orange Austria by Hutchison 3G Austria GmbH . Initial poking around by the Commission has led it to believe that the acquisition, were it to take place, could create "significant competition problems." (See EC Looks Again at Orange Austria Takeover and Euronews: France Telecom to Sell Euro Assets.)

  • A big noise at Moody's Investors Service says that Telefónica's close ties to economically ravaged Spain could spell trouble for the operator, reports Bloomberg. Carlos Winzer, senior vice president at the influential ratings agency, said: "Capital markets still perceive Telefónica as a Spanish company holding the sovereign risk." (See Telefonica Restructures, Creates New Units.)

  • German test and measurement specialist Rohde & Schwarz GmbH & Co. KG has acquired mobile drive-test system specialist SwissQual Holding AG for an undisclosed sum. Swissqual, which was previously acquired by private investors in 2007 for just US$3 million, has supplied hundreds of wireless carriers with its network benchmarking and monitoring systems. (See SwissQual Tests TS's LTE and Spirent Loses on Wireless Unit Sale.)

  • TeliaSonera AB (Nasdaq: TLSN) has sent a warning shot to Turkcell Iletisim Hizmetleri A.S. (NYSE: TKC) -- in which it holds a 38 percent stake -- over the latter's failure to hold an AGM and distribute dividends due to its shareholders. The Nordic group blames Cukurova, one of the other main shareholders, for the hold-up.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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