Managed Services

Euronews: Jan. 17

Heavyweights VimpelCom Ltd. (NYSE: VIP), Telenor Group (Nasdaq: TELN), Etisalat , Zain Group and Nokia Networks slug it out in today's bout of Euro telecom news.

  • And you thought War and Peace dragged on a bit... The Russian saga that is VimpelCom's US$7 billion acquisition of Wind Telecomunicazioni SpA has turned another page, with the majority of VimpelCom's board officially approving a new, improved deal. However, Telenor, the Norwegian carrier that owns a 39.5 percent stake in VimpelCom and which has three of the nine seats on the Russian operator's board, is still maintaining that the deal does not make "strategic or financial sense," and is refusing to support the acquisition. (See VimpelCom Board Approves Wind Deal, Telenor Opposes VimpelCom Acquisition of Wind, Euronews: Dec. 20, VimpelCom Gets Wind and Euronews: Oct. 4.)

  • Meanwhile, out in the Middle East, another mega-M&A potboiler is still bubbling away, with UAE-based Etisalat extending its original Jan. 15 deadline for its US$12 billion purchase of a 51 percent stake in Kuwait's Zain, citing the latter's failure to produce "all relevant information" as the reason for the delay. (See Etisalat Extends Zain Talks, Euronews: Jan. 13 and Euronews: Sept. 30.)

  • There's more to Albania than King Zog, you know... The once intensively secretive and still economically challenged Eastern European outpost will soon be waking up to the joys of 3G mobile broadband, courtesy of a collaboration between Vodafone Albania and Nokia Siemens Networks. Under the terms of the four-year deal, NSN will deploy its Flexi Multiradio Base Station, and also provide consulting, civil works support, network planning and optimization, training and maintenance services. (See NSN Wins Albania 3G Deal .)

  • An end to the hostilities over the ownership of Polish operator Elektrim SA has left French media and communications giant Vivendi with a €1.25 billion ($1.66 billion) windfall. (See Vivendi Ends 10-Year Legal Battle.)

  • NTT Europe is looking to bolster its managed services offer by merging its wholly owned subsidiary NTT Europe Online into its parent company. According to the company, which has aspirations to be a much bigger player in the international enterprise services market, the move will enable it to "strengthen one-stop service delivery and provide more comprehensive ICT solutions." (See NTT Europe Merges Managed Hosting Unit, NTT POPs Into Europe and NTT Splashes $3.2B on DiData.)

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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