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Euronews: Takeover Rumors Lift Nokia

Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK), Telefónica SA (NYSE: TEF), KPN Telecom NV (NYSE: KPN) and Orange (NYSE: FTE) start the week in today's trot through the EMEA headlines.

  • Nokia's stock rose 6 percent on the Helsinki exchange on Friday -- the largest rise in seven months for the beleaguered handset giant -- following takeover speculation, according to Bloomberg. Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT), among others, is hovering in the wings, believe some analysts. (See Analyst: Nokia Lumia 'Not a Company Saver', Euronews: Nokia Cash Burn Freaks Analysts and Euronews: Fitch Junks Nokia.)

  • Telefónica has sold half of its stake in China Unicom Ltd. (NYSE: CHU), China's second-largest mobile operator, for HK$11 billion (US$1.4 billion), reports Bloomberg. This will reduce the debt-laden Spanish company's stake in China Unicom to 5 percent. (See Euronews: Layoff Costs Tear Into Telefonica's Q3 , Telefonica Restructures, Creates New Units and Euronews: Telefonica's Layoffs Bill Shock.)

  • Dutch incumbent KPN is looking at spinning off its E-Plus Service GmbH & Co. KG mobile business in Germany as a way of convincing KPN shareholders not to accept the advances of Carlos Slim's América Móvil S.A. de C.V. , reports the Financial Times (subscription required). Last month América Móvil offered to buy up to 27.7 percent of KPN's shares at €8 a share, which KPN said "substantially undervalues" its business. (See Euronews: Slim Makes His Move on KPN and Slim's Dutch Drama .)
  • France Telecom, which already owns 49 percent of Dailymotion , is planning to gain total control of the video-sharing service, reports Reuters, citing a story in Les Echos. According to the paper, the deal could be worth up to €72 million ($90.5 million). (See Orange Teams Up With Dailymotion.)

  • Technicolor (Euronext Paris: TCH; NYSE: TCH), the French video equipment maker, has rejected an improved capital increase offer from JP.MorganChase , which could have resulted in a cash injection of up to €179 million (US$224.5 million), because of the conditions attached to the offer. The Technicolor board has opted instead to recommend to its shareholders the earlier, lower offer from JP Morgan, which could result in a cash boost worth up to €158 million ($198 million). (See Euronews: Investors Fight Over Technicolor.)

  • Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD) managed to pay no corporation tax at all in the U.K. in the most recent financial year, reports the Daily Telegraph. The mobile giant was able to offset its increased capital expenditure against its tax bill. This news will be grist to the mill of those who have already picked out Vodafone as one of the U.K.'s serial offenders when it comes to finding ways to minimize its tax obligations.

  • Nokia Networks has joined the Global TD-LTE (GTI) Partner Forum. NSN has been involved with the Forum for some time, but this formal membership sees its commitment growing, and it now says it is engaged in "multiple GTI technical taskforces" that address various aspects of Long Term Evolution Time Division Duplex (LTE TDD). (See NSN Joins Global TD-LTE Initiative, NSN Supports LTE TDD at 1.9GHz, NSN Ups TD-LTE Ante in India and LTE's Kissin' Cousins .)

  • Swisscom AG (NYSE: SCM) has Googled itself a new chief strategy officer. Jürgen Galler, who has been working for Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) Switzerland for the past five years, succeeds Daniel Ritz, who left the company at the end of January.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

  • neyo 12/5/2012 | 5:30:34 PM
    re: Euronews: Takeover Rumors Lift Nokia

    They needn't dump WP, but can come up with some low cost Android phones which, due to their better brand name, would sell better than the cheaper ones on the market - at least in some emerging markets. Thats the only way to survival at the moment. 


    I wonder why they went for a single OS platform and abandoned the rest. They might have thought - we are big.. we will compete with Apple..


    But Samsung was smarter. They kept their Bada and did both WP and Android. 


    Nokia should have gone the Samsung way rather than challenging Apple and Android for a new ecosystem. 


     

    krishanguru143 12/5/2012 | 5:30:34 PM
    re: Euronews: Takeover Rumors Lift Nokia



    How can they not afford a change in strategy?  Sales are fraction of what they once were, the N9 (MeeGo phone) sold more units in Q4 than all WP7 handsets sales combined from all manufacturers.  This just shows how much the consumer doesn’t want WP as they would rather buy a phone DOA phone.  Elop pulled the trigger too early, if they would have stayed the course, a path Nokia embarked upon would have been finalized and one that would have had a huge ecosystem and one based around Qt.  The replacement for S40, Symbian^3 (Anna, Belle, Carla, Donna, etc.) and MeeGo all would have had a common codebase for write apps for which would have been Qt.  You can even take a Qt app and run it on Windows, Linux, OS X, etc.  Elop decided to tear all that down when they were nearly done and go for to WP that had been an utter failure since the beginning.  Look at the history of Microsoft in the Mobile sector.  They had WM and they did get into the 25% market share range and then it just kept dropping off until they hit around 3% and then sat there for years.  After WM 6.0 Microsoft didn’t have the replacement ready (or so the say) so 6.5 was released.  Guess what 6.5 languished around for years.  Microsoft decided it was time to get back into the mobile market after ignoring is and they gave us Kin.  What an utter failure that was; what did Verizon Wireless sell, 50,000 of them after close to a month?  Verizon Wireless jumped off that burning platform and never looked back and this forced Microsoft to abandon it as well.  Not long after WP7 was released and basically just pulled market share from WM.  There is one thing I didn’t mention, Danger.  Microsoft bought Danger in 2008 for $500 million and about 18 months later, most of the former Danger employees left Microsoft.  Shall we talk about the huge data loss the Microsoft has in October 2009?  The Danger group are the ones that created Kin and when it failed, Microsoft rolled them into WP7.

     

    Microsoft doesn’t get what the consumer wants and does what they feel the consumer wants.  Either Nokia needs to abandon WP or go down with the ship.  Microsoft can afford to lose money on WP7 and have it be a total failure, Nokia cannot afford that loss.  Unfortunately, even if Nokia tried to go back, they would still would have lost a sizeable portion of the customer base, but keeping the WP router is not bringing in new ones to replace the lost ones.  If Nokia did decide to go back to Symbian^3 and MeeGo, to get customers back, they would practically need to offer all existing customers would get a big rebate for any new phone they bought and turned in their previous.

     

    Since 1998 Nokia held the top spot, they lost that to Samsung.  This happened under Elop.

    Nokia saw year-over-year growth until Elop put his plan in effect.

    Q1 2012:

    Symbian Sales declines from 27.5 million to 12.4 million and went from a 27.7 market share in Q1 2011 to 8.6% in Q1 2012.

    Microsoft went from 2.6% market share in Q1 2011 to 1.9% in Q1 2012.  Microsoft will see their OS on around 10 million handsets per year, pretty much right around what they had pre and post WP7 release.  All Nokia is doing is fighting for a piece of that 10 million.  Symbian not only outsold WM/WP in Q1 2012 but in that quarter alone, they will have sold more than what WM/WP will sell all year combined.




    Michelle Donegan 12/5/2012 | 5:30:36 PM
    re: Euronews: Takeover Rumors Lift Nokia

    I think Nokia has gone too far down the Elop/Microsoft road to turn back now -- I just don't see how the company could withstand another major strategy change. But then, what's the alternative? 


     

    krishanguru143 12/5/2012 | 5:30:39 PM
    re: Euronews: Takeover Rumors Lift Nokia



    Microsoft could buy Nokia on the cheap but in the end it won’t help WP sales at all.  This could have been the plan for Microsoft all along, destroy Nokia by getting them to enter into an agreement to be exclusive to WP and let them sink from it.  Then Microsoft could get rid of S40 and put WP on it and WP might actually takeoff.  Microsoft could afford the losses by giving away WP to themselves to build market share and then try to make a push in the smartphone market as well.




    krishanguru143 12/5/2012 | 5:30:39 PM
    re: Euronews: Takeover Rumors Lift Nokia



    The Nokia shareholders got what they voted for.  They just had their annual meeting and there was not a big shakeup at the board level; it was status quo.  The current status quo is an ever sinking stock price.  So the topsy-turvy can be blamed on the shareholders.  If they dumped the board they could have gotten a new board which would fire Elop and dump Microsoft.




    digits 12/5/2012 | 5:30:40 PM
    re: Euronews: Takeover Rumors Lift Nokia

    Enthusiasm for the speculation appears to have died down a bit today, with Nokia's share price down from Friday's close of €2.36 to €2.26, giving Nokia a market value of almost €8.5 billion (US$10.6 billion).


    This could be a topsy-turvy summer for Nokia shareholders, and that includes a lot of Finnish pension funds (I imagine...)

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