Eurobites: Activist Investor Takes Stake in AlcaLu

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Colt wants out of IT services; Orange smooths ruffled feathers in Israel; BT joins Wireless IoT Forum.

  • New York-based activist investor Elliott Management has acquired a 1.3% stake in Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU), which is the subject of a takeover bid from Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK). According to The Street, the move is just the latest in a series of deals Elliott has done to take advantage of M&A action in the European telecom market. (See Nokia & Alcatel-Lucent: What's Going On?)

  • Colt Technology Services Group Ltd is to re-shape its business, making a "controlled exit" from the IT services market over the next two to three years. It wants to focus on what it describes as its core business, namely network, voice and data center services. Last month Colt hired former Pacnet CEO Carl Grivner as its executive vice president of Network Services. (See Eurobites: KVH Props Up Colt's Q1.)

  • Following the political row generated by Orange (NYSE: FTE) CEO Stephane Richard's comments about his company's relationship with Partner Communications Co. Ltd. (Nasdaq: PTNR; London: PCCD) in Israel, the pair have announced a new "framework agreement," which could pave the way for the relationship to be terminated. Israel was less than thrilled when earlier this month Richard said he would end the partnership "tomorrow morning" if he was contractually able, and, as Reuters reports, Richard ended up apologizing to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

  • BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) has been named as one of the six founding board members of the Wireless IoT Forum, the declared aim of which is to accelerate the adoption of wireless wide-area networking technologies for the Internet of Things. The others are Accenture, Arkessa, Cisco, Telensa and WSN.

  • Facebook is to open its first headquarters in Africa next month, reports The South African. The social networking giant has an estimated 120 million users in Africa, 80% of which access Facebook via their mobile phones.

  • UK mobile joint venture EE -- which is in the process of being taken over by BT -- continues to, erm, lead the way in terms of customer complaints, according to the latest quarterly survey of such things by regulator Ofcom . EE generated the most complaints when it came to both landline services and fixed broadband services, with problems changing provider figuring strongly in the list of gripes.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

  • Kruz 7/1/2015 | 7:20:51 AM
    Re: FB Whatever is needed to increase its penetration worldwide :)
    Joe Stanganelli 6/30/2015 | 10:28:45 PM
    Re: Cloudy > we are looking into Colt's cloudiness.

    I'll just leave this here.
    Joe Stanganelli 6/30/2015 | 10:27:10 PM
    Re: FB "On the hunt" ...So, like, a safari?  ;)
    Joe Stanganelli 6/30/2015 | 10:26:38 PM
    S. Africa About time FB got a presence in South Africa.  I'm rather surprised more tech giants don't have significant presences there, given the chunk of the English-speaking user market South Africca makes up for a lot of these companies.
    Kruz 6/30/2015 | 3:05:00 PM
    FB Fb is on the hunt of its next million in Africa, and possibly through fb.org initiative
    [email protected] 6/30/2015 | 10:36:58 AM
    Re: Cloudy More on Colt to come today -- we are looking into Colt's cloudiness.
    mendyk 6/30/2015 | 10:26:10 AM
    Re: Cloudy Yeah, the wording in the press release is fuzzy enough to raise more questions than it answers -- so someone in the PR department is doing his or her job well.
    PaulERainford 6/30/2015 | 10:12:25 AM
    Re: Cloudy Not really - they'll still be doing managed network services. The announcement refers only to IT services, which only account for about 5% of their revenues anyway, so it's maybe not as big a deal as it sounds on first hearing.
    mendyk 6/30/2015 | 9:29:39 AM
    Cloudy Paul -- Re Colt, does this means it's getting out of the managed cloud services business? That's what it looks like.
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