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Mergers & acquisitions

Huawei Buys Into Greek Vendor

Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. is believed to have acquired either a majority stake or a significant holding in Greek telecom vendor Intracom Telecom, part of Intracom Holdings S.A.

Such a move would not only strengthen Huawei's business in Europe but also give it another route into the U.S. market, as Intracom Telecom has a subsidiary, Conklin Corp. , that is active in the North American IPTV market with its fs|cdn platform. (See Conklin-Intracom Lands IPTV Deals.)

Speculation in the Greek press has been simmering for a few months, but now word is reaching Light Reading that Intracom sales staff are seeking new jobs following an acquisition agreement.

Intracom Telecom, which employs about 2,000 staff, sells a variety of fixed and wireless network hardware, software and support services to operators mainly in Central and Eastern Europe. In 2001 it reported revenues of €256.6 million (US$344 million) and a net loss of €5.1 million ($6.8 million). (See Magyar Deploys Intracom's WiBAS, Intracom's Backhaul Gets Certified, Intracom Wins Maxis Deal and Intracom Wins Etisalat Deal.)

Any deal for a controlling stake in Intracom Telecom would be tricky as the company has two main owners: Intracom Holdings holds a 49 percent stake, while Russian IT and telecom systems firm JSC Sitronics (London: SITR) holds the other 51 percent.

Sitronics, which is part of the larger Sistema JSFC (London: SSA) group, is believed to be the selling party, but it's unclear whether it is offloading its entire 51 percent stake or just part of that holding.

Huawei says it doesn't comment on rumor or speculation. Light Reading was still waiting on responses from Intracom and Sitronics as this article was published.

— Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading

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