Mergers & acquisitions

Euronews: Investors Fight Over Technicolor

Technicolor (Euronext Paris: TCH; NYSE: TCH), Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. and Samsung Corp. are in pole position for today's zip through the EMEA telecom headlines.

  • Two investors are scrapping over control of troubled French video technology specialist Technicolor (formerly Thomson). At the beginning of May, the company announced a capital increase that would raise much needed funds of up to €158 million (US$198.4 million) and increase JP.MorganChase 's stake in the company to between 25 percent and 29.96 percent. Now Vector Capital has proposed a capital increase of up to €186.4 million ($234 million) that would increase its stake to between 18 percent and 29.9 percent. Technicolor's board plans to meet today to discuss Vector's offer. (See Vector Bids for Technicolor Control, Technicolor Eyes Cost Cuts and Euronews: Ericsson to Buy Technicolor Service Biz.)

  • Huawei has denied receiving any Chinese state subsidies and has rejected accusations of "dumping" following reports that the European Commission is planning to bring a formal trade case against China, reports Reuters. For local analysis, read this blog by Robert Clark, Light Reading's Hong Kong-based contributing editor.

  • The Samsung Galaxy S III (or S3 as it's also known), unveiled on May 3, becomes available today in 28 countries in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), including France, the U.K., Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE). For more background and details, see Samsung Galaxy S III Hits EMEA.

  • Cell C , Oger Telecom 's mobile subsidiary in South Africa, is to receive a cash injection of $180 million, reports Reuters. Oger Telecom, which is 35 percent owned by Saudi Telecom, hopes the investment will help Cell C compete with runaway market leaders MTN Group Ltd. and Vodacom Pty. Ltd. (See AfricaWatch: M&A Frenzy.)

  • A state-backed fund in Italy, led by Metroweb SpA , is planning to invest up to €500 million ($627.8 million) in rolling out fiber to some of the country's major towns and cities, in a project that some analysts believe could be bad news for Telecom Italia (TIM) , reports Reuters. Ironically, Telecom Italia was rumored to be considering an acquisition of Metroweb in 2011. (See Euronews: Italians Unveil €4.5B FTTH Plan and Telecom Italia Uses Metroweb.)

  • The BBC's Rory Cellan-Jones has attempted to buy goods and services using only mobile money for a few days in the U.K. Basically that means he was without cash or credit cards but armed with a smartphone equipped with a couple of mobile money apps. His verdict? "It just isn't working … it's too complicated, far too few people use it, nobody understands it -- it needs a lot of work yet."

  • BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) is bragging that it's on course to fulfill its pledge of creating half a million Wi-Fi hotspots in London in time for the capital's Olympic and Paralympic Games this summer. Access to the hotspots will be free to all those with BT broadband accounts and to some who don't. Now the powers-that-be just need to shift those thousands of unsold Olympics tickets… (See BT Updates on London Wi-Fi.)

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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