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Eurobites: Numericable Wins SFR M&A Tussle

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: BT's new TV sport chief; US disses Euro-Internet plan; Telecom Italia learns from AT&T.

  • We follow it for weeks and then they announce the result on a weekend. Typical. Vivendi has finally decided which way it wants to go, bidder-wise, on the sale of its SFR mobile unit, plumping for the offer from Numericable-SFR and its parent Altice over the rival bid from Bouygues Telecom . The winning bid will give Vivendi €13.5 billion (US$18.5 billion) in cash plus a 20% stake in the combined entity and a potential "milestone payment." Numericable's shareholders are happy: Shares in the cable operator jumped 17% in trading early Monday following news of the deal, reports Reuters. (See Vivendi to Sell SFR to Altice/Numericable and Euronews: Vivendi Confirms SFR Spin-Off Plan.)

  • BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) has anointed a successor to Marc Watson, the former CEO of the operator's BT TV unit, who upped sticks last week. As from July, Delia Bushell, currently chief commercial officer of Sky Italia, will join as managing director of BT TV and Sport. The poaching of such a key and long-time Sky operative underlines how seriously BT is taking the fight with Sky over premium sports content in general, and English Premier League soccer in particular. (See BT's Got Balls.)

    Delia Bushell: Now officially the second most powerful Delia in Britain.
    Delia Bushell: Now officially the second most powerful Delia in Britain.

  • Recent proposals by certain European countries, Germany among them, to create a Europe-only network that avoids routing emails and other data via the US have been criticized by the office of the US Trade Representative, reports Reuters. The proposals could, argued the USTR, "lead to effective exclusion or discrimination against foreign service suppliers that are directly offering network services, or dependent on them." (See Euronews: Merkel Moots US Data Bypass and Euronews: Prism a Wake-up Call, Says DT.)

  • Telecom Italia (TIM) CEO Marco Patuano has been seeking guidance on how to turn around the fortunes of a struggling company from AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T)'s Randall Stephenson, reports Bloomberg. Patuano was on what he called an "innovation trip" (like, groovy, baby!) around the boardrooms of selected US companies.

  • Nokia Networks has appointed Salvatore Maisano head of Central East and West Africa (CEWA). "Sal," as he prefers to be known, was previously NSN's head of sales for MEA. (See NSN Appoints Head of Central East & West Africa.)

  • France-based Inside Secure , which provides embedded security technology for mobile devices, has acquired software obfuscation (seriously) specialist Metaforic for $11.6 million. Obfuscation technology is used to enhance applications security by making software more difficult to understand and reverse-engineer. (See INSIDE Secure Acquires Metaforic .)

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

  • DOShea 4/7/2014 | 5:06:13 PM
    Telecom Italia and AT&T I don't know if AT&T was ever struggling, but if it was, its method of recovery was M&A. Don't know if that's the answer for Telecom Italia.
    PaulERainford 4/7/2014 | 7:44:32 AM
    Delia power In case anyone was wondering, this is the most powerful Delia in Britain.
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