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Eurobites: Shareholders Approve 'NokAlu' Deal

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Israeli operators face class action on calling cards; Orange appoints "CEO Delegates"; Ofcom delays spectrum auction.

  • Shareholders in Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) have approved all the resolutions presented at an EGM relating to the company's proposed takeover of Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU), which is scheduled for completion in the first quarter of 2016. According to Nokia, regulatory approvals were received earlier than expected, so it's all systems go. For the full details of what the shareholders voted through, see this press release. (See Eurobites: 'NokaLu' Clears Another Hurdle, Nokia + AlcaLu: What the Analysts Say and Nokia/AlcaLu: The Key Friction Points.)

  • A class action has been launched against Cellcom Israel Ltd. and two other Israeli operators -- Partner Communications and Pelephone, a subsidiary of Bezeq -- alleging that the companies in question operated what amounted to a price cartel in prepaid calling cards. The total amount being claimed from the defendants is estimated to be around 13 billion Israeli shekels (US$3.34 billion).

  • Following a proposal by CEO Stéphane Richard, the board of directors at Orange (NYSE: FTE) has appointed two more "Chief Executive Officer Delegates" effective from January 1, 2016. Ramon Fernandez and Pierre Louette will join Gervais Pellissier in that role. According to Orange, these appointments "strengthen the Group's governance" as they are approved and appointed by the board, on behalf of the shareholders, rather than working under a regular employment contract. Both will continue in their existing roles at Orange: Fernandez is in charge of Group finance and strategy; Louette is responsible for a host of operations, including Orange Wholesale France, Orange Group sourcing and supply chain, steering investment strategy in startups and “coordinating relationships within the digital ecosystem.” The CEO delegates are also regarded as potential successors to the current chief executive, so here is an element of succession planning in these new appointments.

  • UK regulator Ofcom has decided to delay the auction of spectrum in the 2.3GHz and 3.4GHz bands -- which was due to have taken place this month -- until after the European Commission has pronounced on the proposed merger between Telefónica UK Ltd. and Hutchison 3G UK Ltd. That decision, according to Ofcom, is likely to come no later than mid-May 2016. (See Eurobites: Ofcom Sounds Alarm on O2 Deal and Hutchison's Wind of Change.)

  • Numericable-SFR , the French cable and mobile operator, is to take control of cloud computing firm Numergy, reports Reuters. The operator is buying the 33% stake held by Caisses des Depots and a 20% stake held by Atos.

  • African telecom giant MTN Group Ltd. has managed to have the $5.2 billion fine imposed on it by the Nigerian government -- for failing to disconnect unregistered users -- cut by a third, reports the BBC. The Nigerian authorities were concerned that unregistered SIM cards were being used widely by criminal gangs. (See Eurobites: Mega-Fine Topples MTN CEO.)

  • A German startup is looking to create a pan-European, smartphone-based bank, reports Reuters. Number26, as the startup is called, is looking to initially expand beyond its German home to six other European markets -- France, Italy and Spain among them.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

  • [email protected] 12/3/2015 | 12:31:08 PM
    Just imagine.... Just imagine the ***storm if the shareholders had decided that buying ALU actually wasn't such a great idea...
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