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Eurobites: Sky Deutschland Rejects BSkyB Bid

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Jazztel shares spike to be investigated; Uber unbanned in Germany; Berne-Wankdorf latest.

  • The management of Sky Deutschland Fernsehen GmbH & Co. KG has encouraged its shareholders to reject a buyout offer from Sky , the UK entertainment and communications services giant, saying that the €6.75 per share bid "does not reflect the full potential and thus intrinsic value of Sky Deutschland's business," reports Reuters. In July BSkyB agreed to buy the controlling 57% stake in Sky Deutschland owned by 21st Century Fox for ₤2.9 billion (US$4.7 billion) as part of a larger deal to boost BSkyB's presence in mainland Europe -- it is looking to create a pan-European business with more than 20 million customers, compared with its current 11.5 million. (See Eurobites: BSkyB Agrees $9.1B M&A Deal .)

  • The Spanish stock market regulator is to investigate a suspicious-looking rise in the value of Jazztel plc shares on Monday, which happened, reports Reuters, just before Orange (NYSE: FTE) announced that it had agreed a €3.4 billion ($4.4 billion) takeover of the Spanish broadband provider. (See Eurobites: Orange Agrees €3.4B Jazztel Buy.)

  • Russian operator Mobile TeleSystems OJSC (MTS) (NYSE: MBT) has confirmed that the chairman of the board of directors at Sistema JSFC (London: SSA), its parent company, has been charged as part of an investigation into Sistema's acquisition of BashTEK Group. Vladimir Evtushenkov and the rest of the Sistema management maintain that the deal was legal and transparent.

  • Germany's ban on Uber, the smartphone-based taxi-hailing service, has been overturned, reports the BBC. A judge ruled that time had run out for "traditional" taxi firms to request an emergency injunction, though their trade association is to appeal. (See Uber Drives Mobile App Bubble With $1.2B VC Round and Uber Thumbs a Wireless Ride With AT&T.)

  • There's lots happening at the outposts of Orange's empire: Firstly, the operator has announced the launch of its startup accelerator program in the Ivory Coast and Israel, with new ideas getting Orange backing including "Parko," an app that helps drivers find parking spaces (nice name, fellers), and "LogDog," which is intended to protect online accounts from being hacked; and, separately, it has expanded its mobile money partnership with Bank of Africa (BOA), allowing Orange Money customers to transfer money directly from their Orange Money account to their BOA account and vice versa, via their mobile phone.

  • The fallout from the collapse of Phones 4u Ltd. , the independent UK mobile phone retailer, continues to fill the business pages of Britain's newspapers. The Guardian reports that Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD) and EE , whose decision to end their respective contracts with Phones 4u tipped the retailer into administration, have now expressed an interest in acquiring some of the stores. It is thought that Phones 4u still has around 300,000 handsets in its inventory.

  • Swisscom AG (NYSE: SCM) has opened what is describes as one of Europe's most advanced and efficient data centers in Berne-Wankdorf. (Stop that now!) The data center, which has received a Tier IV certification, will be fully up and running by the end of 2014, at which point it will house around 5,000 servers with approximately 10,000 customer systems.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

  • Ariella 9/17/2014 | 9:41:52 AM
    opening in 2014 What's opening up in Switzerland sounds very large. Are other setups in Europe of comparable size? 
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