Light Reading

Eurobites: Orange in French M&A Talks

Paul Rainford
5/16/2014
50%
50%

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Numericable may buy Virgin Mobile France; another upgrade for Nokia; EU antitrust chief strikes back; BT's here for the beer.

  • The ongoing ructions in the French telecom industry look set to continue with the news that both Orange (NYSE: FTE) and Bouygues Telecom are actively exploring merger options and are in talks with each other, according to this Reuters report. And in a company statement, Orange said that it "believes that consolidation of the French mobile market would be positive in the long-term for both investment and for the consumer." Bouygues lost out to Altice/Numericable a bidding war for rival SFR last month, and is on the lookout for another merger, with Orange the obvious candidate. (See Eurobites: Numericable Wins SFR M&A Tussle and Eurobites: Orange Returns to Form in France.)

  • And just to add to the fun en France, Reuters reports that Numericable has entered into talks with Virgin Mobile France about a possible acquisition of the MVNO, for €325 million ($446 million). Virgin Mobile France is 45% owned by Richard Branson.

  • Fresh from its rating upgrade from Moody's Investors Service earlier in the week, Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) has now had its former BB credit rating from Standard & Poor’s tweaked in a good way, to become "B+, with positive outlook." This is another vote of confidence in Rajeev Suri, who was recently appointed president and CEO of the group. (See Nokia CEO Must Channel Fighting Spirit.)

  • The head of the European Commission 's antitrust authority, Joaquín Almunia, has dismissed calls from telcos and others for restrictions on telecom mergers to be eased as "misguided," reports the Financial Times (subscription required). (See Euronews: Telcos Should Eat Each Other and Eurobites: EU Bigwig Wants to Relax M&A Rules.)

  • BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) appears to making its presence felt in the UK's soccer-gawping pubs and clubs with its BT Sport pay-TV offer. The operator says that more than 19,000 pubs, clubs, betting shops, hotels and other commercial premises have now signed up to its sports TV service, representing a 24% share of this market and putting it more or less on a par with Sky (NYSE, London: SKY), which had got used to having this sector pretty much by the short and curlies and charging top dollar for its equivalent service. (See Eurobites: Soccer Surge for BT's Fiscal Q4 BT's Got Balls, and Confirmed: BT's Got Euroballs.)

    Seth is lovin' the BT Sport.
    Seth is lovin' the BT Sport.

  • Iliad (Euronext: ILD), the mobile operator that has done so much to trigger the seismic shifts in the French market, has posted an 11% year-on-year increase in first-quarter sales to slightly over €1 billion ($1.37 billion), reports Reuters. The operator also said it had signed an impressive 595,000 new mobile subscribers in the quarter, taking its total to 8.64 million.

  • Following a ruling by the European Court of Justice that said Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) and other search engines had to delete what were deemed "outdated and irrelevant" search results at the request of members of the public affected by them, those "forget me" requests are already starting to land in Google's inbox, according to this BBC report. No names, no pack drill, but a former politician has asked for links to an article about his behavior (presumably not good) in office to be removed, while on a more serious note, a man convicted of possessing images of child abuse has requested links to media stories about his crime to be deleted. Close your eyes and you can almost hear Google's legal team crunching into gear…

  • How many EVPs does it take to "align digital initiatives with group strategy"? Three, if you're Telenor ASA (Nasdaq: TELN). The Nordic operator has appointed Henrik Clausen, Katja Christina Nordgaard, and Pål Wien Espen as executive vice presidents and new members of Group Executive Management as part of a restructuring operation that also sees new CEOs appointed to two local units. Interestingly, Nordgaard is currently the Norwegian Ambassador to Thailand and Cambodia. Maybe she was missing those interminable months of ice and snow and darkness… (See Telenor Appoints New Executive VPs, Divisional CEOs.)

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

    (8)  | 
    Comment  | 
    Print  | 
  • Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
    mendyk
    50%
    50%
    mendyk,
    User Rank: Light Sabre
    5/16/2014 | 10:14:46 AM
    Re: Orange and Bouygues
    Agree -- this merger may push things just a little too far.
    PaulERainford
    50%
    50%
    PaulERainford,
    User Rank: Light Sabre
    5/16/2014 | 9:42:03 AM
    Re: Not falling behind, not showing off...
    Ah, so that's what all those thrashings were about. It's all starting to make sense.
    Ray@LR
    50%
    50%
    Ray@LR,
    User Rank: Blogger
    5/16/2014 | 9:40:10 AM
    Re: Not falling behind, not showing off...
    It's because you are a sinner. Surely you remember that!!
    PaulERainford
    50%
    50%
    PaulERainford,
    User Rank: Light Sabre
    5/16/2014 | 9:21:32 AM
    Re: Not falling behind, not showing off...
    Me too, Dennis. Still feel guilty as hell, never quite sure why.
    mendyk
    50%
    50%
    mendyk,
    User Rank: Light Sabre
    5/16/2014 | 9:20:10 AM
    Re: Not falling behind, not showing off...
    I went to Catholic school. A "positive outlook" was not encouraged.
    PaulERainford
    50%
    50%
    PaulERainford,
    User Rank: Light Sabre
    5/16/2014 | 9:18:25 AM
    Re: Not falling behind, not showing off...
    That's all very well, but did you have a 'positive outlook' to go with it?
    Kruz
    50%
    50%
    Kruz,
    User Rank: Light Sabre
    5/16/2014 | 9:11:08 AM
    Orange and Bouygues
    Once the merger is completed, the entity will hold half of France's wirless users. A move that will not be well tolerated by the French regulator.
    mendyk
    50%
    50%
    mendyk,
    User Rank: Light Sabre
    5/16/2014 | 8:27:39 AM
    Not falling behind, not showing off...
    A B+ rating for Nokia -- outstanding! I rode that grade all through my school years.
    Educational Resources
    sponsor supplied content
    Educational Resources Archive
    Flash Poll
    From The Founder
    The New IP is actually bigger even than business. Like another hugely important tech that Light Reading is digging into right now, the New IP has the potential to change the world by fundamentally advancing what it is possible for people to achieve with communications.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Huawei Shares Its Vision of the Future of Mobile Networks Innovations

    2|26|15   |   2:30   |   (0) comments


    Mobile broadband is changing our lives. It's reshaping the Internet, industry, and society. It allows us to freely connect with one another anytime, anywhere. At this year's Mobile World Congress, Huawei will share its latest insights and newest ideas and technologies that will shape the future of MBB. They will showcase their end-to-end MBB solutions that will ...
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Accelerate Digitizing, Boost Digital Business

    2|26|15   |   6:14   |   (0) comments


    A new digital revolution is leading us to a better connected world. Together with millions of digital partners, Huawei will help CSPs to build their digital service ecosystem and aggregate a wide variety of digital services. In this video, we find out how Huawei is going to help CSPs implement digital operations.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    The Secret Recipe to Enabling Hyper-Growth Industries

    2|26|15   |   3:38   |   (0) comments


    With a number of successful cases on network capability exposure, Huawei is going to share the secret recipe to enabling hyper-growth markets with a step-by-step approach.
    LRTV Documentaries
    BTE 2015 Is Bigger & Even Better

    2|25|15   |   03:13   |   (4) comments


    This year's Big Telecom Event (BTE) in Chicago is going to provide more opportunities than ever for networking, getting to grips with key industry challenges and opportunities and, equally as important, having some fun.
    LRTV Interviews
    Light Reading ICT Leaders Roundtable at MWC 2015

    2|12|15   |   1:07   |   (2) comments


    On Sunday March 1, 2015, Light Reading will host an ICT Leaders Roundtable in partnership with Huawei. At this half-day event, CIOs, analysts and researchers will discuss key industry trends like virtualization in the cloud with a specific focus on new business models. Located at the luxurious Renaissance Hotel near the Fira Barcelona, space is limited so please ...
    LRTV Documentaries
    Going Green in 2015

    2|12|15   |   02:04   |   (0) comments


    Energy efficiency is set to be an incredibly hot topic in the telecom industry this year.
    LRTV Custom TV
    SDN & NFV: Where Are We Going From Here?

    2|11|15   |   11:27   |   (0) comments


    Vitesse Semiconductor CTO Martin Nuss gives his perspective on why SDN and NFV should be tightly interconnected and how he sees the industry moving forward.
    LRTV Documentaries
    Time for Gigabit Europe?

    2|9|15   |   01:27   |   (4) comments


    Gigabit broadband networks are springing up all around the US and they'll soon become more commonplace in Europe.
    LRTV Interviews
    Brocade Brings New IP Vision to 2020 Vision Executive Summit

    2|3|15   |   4:23   |   (0) comments


    In December 2014, Light Reading gathered telecom executives in Reykjavik, Iceland to discuss their vision for high-capacity networks through the end of the decade. The intimate, interactive meeting was set against the backdrop of Iceland's spectacular natural beauty. As one of the event's founding sponsors, Brocade's Kelly Herrell shared his company's strategy at ...
    LRTV Interviews
    Brocade's Kelly Herrell on the New IP

    2|2|15   |   12:36   |   (0) comments


    In December 2014, Steve Saunders sat down with Brocade VP of Software Networking Kelly Herrell at Light Reading's 2020 Vision executive summit in Reykjavik, Iceland. They spoke about Brocade's approach to the New IP, the future of the telecom industry, and more.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Dr. Dong Sun Talks About Carriers' Digital Transformation & Huawei’s Telco OS

    1|29|15   |   6:28   |   (0) comments


    Dr. Dong Sun, Chief Architect of Digital Transformation Solutions at Huawei, discusses how telecom operators can become digital ecosystem enablers and deliver optimal user experiences that are in real-time, on-demand, all-online, DIY and social (ROADS).
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Huawei's Chief Network Architect Talks about Network Experience & Operators’ Strategies

    1|29|15   |   3:39   |   (0) comments


    In the digital age, network experience has become the primary productivity especially for telecom operators. In this video, Wenshuan Dang, Huawei’s Chief Network Architect, discusses how carriers can tackle the challenge of infrastructure complexity in order to enhance business agility and improve user experience.
    Upcoming Live Events
    March 17, 2015, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
    April 14, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City, NY
    May 12, 2015, Grand Hyatt, Denver, CO
    All Upcoming Live Events
    Infographics
    Net neutrality, broadband services and the current outlook on data consumption, as presented by the New Jersey Institute of Technology.
    Hot Topics
    Cyber Security Expert Warns: You're Doing It Wrong
    Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 2/23/2015
    10 Weirdly Useful IoT Devices
    Eryn Leavens, Copy Desk Editor, 2/24/2015
    Small Cells Enabling Location Services
    Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 2/25/2015
    Is FCC Weighing Net Neutrality Changes?
    Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 2/25/2015
    MWC: Let the Madness Begin
    Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 2/23/2015
    Like Us on Facebook
    Twitter Feed
    Webinar Archive
    BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
    Check out Light Reading's interview with Jay Samit, the newly appointed CEO of publicly traded SeaChange International Inc. With a resume that includes Sony, EMI, and Universal, Samit brings a reputation as an entrepreneur and a disruptor to his new role at the video solutions company. Hear what he had to say about the opportunities in video, as well as the outlook for cable, telco, OTT and mobile service providers.
    G'day! And welcome to an entirely new feature on Light Reading -- our weekly "CEO-to-CEO" interview.