Eurobites: Activist Investor Takes Stake in AlcaLu

Paul Rainford
News Analysis
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe
6/30/2015



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

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