Light Reading

Euronews: Iliad Shares Soar in Wake of Bouygues Pact

Paul Rainford

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Kroes warns against digital walls; Vodafone ups offer for ONO; Sonara swallows smaller rival.

  • A seismic shift in the French mobile market seems imminent, reports Reuters, with Bouygues Telecom , in an effort to pacify competition regulators, agreeing to sell some of its mobile assets to rival Iliad (Euronext: ILD) should its bid to buy Vivendi 's SFR be successful. If Vivendi does accept Bouygues' bid for SFR over a rival offer from cable operator Numericable-SFR , Bouygues will sell 15,000 mobile masts and some of its spectrum to Iliad for up to €1.8 billion (US$2.5 billion). As news of the Bouygues/Iliad deal filtered through, shares in Iliad -- which increased revenues by 19% to €3.7 billion ($5.13 billion) in 2013 -- rose as much as 15% on Monday morning. (See Euronews: Vivendi Confirms SFR Spin-Off Plan.)

  • Vodafone Germany is offering its enterprise and public sector customers SIM card-based encryption for their mobile communications, using technology developed by Giesecke & Devrient . The Secure SIM Data offering encrypts and signs emails, documents, data carriers, and VPN connections.

  • Neelie Kroes, the European Commission 's vice president for the Digital Agenda, has been speaking her mind (again) at the CeBit cyber-security conference in Hannover, Germany. "It is clear that the cord connecting technology and democracy has been severed," she told delegates, referring to the recent revelations of data-snooping by the NSA in the US and the UK's GCHQ. But she issued a warning that protectionist "private" versions of the Internet are not the answer to the problem, saying that "Germany of all countries knows that walls do not achieve that." See this press release for the full text of her speech. (See Euronews: Germany Takes Stand on Snoops and Euronews: Prism Prompts EU Data Rethink.)

  • Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD) has upped its offer for Spanish cable operator ONO , reports the Daily Telegraph, after its previous bid of €6.5 billion ($9 billion) was rejected. ONO had been working on an IPO that would value the company at between €7 billion and €8 billion. (See Euronews: ONO Snubs Vodafone, Opts for IPO.)

  • Sonera, the Finnish arm of Sweden's TeliaSonera AB (Nasdaq: TLSN), is to acquire Finnish cable operator AinaCom, which is particularly strong in and around the city of Hämeenlinna, in the south of the country. AinaCom generated revenues of €16 million ($22.2 million) in 2013.

  • Many BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) engineers, call center workers, and other down-at-the-coalface staff may be about to go on more exotic holidays and drive swankier cars, as 24,000 of them are to share in a £1.3 billion ($2.1 billion) payout from a five-year employee share scheme, reports The Guardian. The average profit will be more than £46,000 ($76,500).

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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    User Rank: Blogger
    3/13/2014 | 6:35:57 PM
    Re: On no, ONO
    I meant to say Oh No,  ONO. So much for being clever. 
    User Rank: Blogger
    3/11/2014 | 10:25:48 PM
    On no, ONO
    So the bidding for ONO sems to be getting serious now. Will we see an all-out bidding war break out between Vodafone and Liberty Global?Or will ONO follow thru on its IPO plans and keep steering an independent course? Now that Ziggo has been swallowed up, this could be the most interesting European MSo to watch this spring.   
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