Euronews: For Sale – Spanish Mobile Operator

Telia Company , Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU), Telefónica UK Ltd. , Orange France , Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD), Maroc Telecom and many more star in today's menu of news nibbles.

  • TeliaSonera is looking to sell its 76.6 percent stake in Spanish operator Xféra, which offers its service under the Yoigo brand, for about €1 billion (US$1.22 billion), reports Reuters. One source believes Carlos Slim may consider an offer as part of his ongoing efforts to develop a European empire, even though he has said he has no immediate plans to invest further in the region. Yoigo, which launched in 2006, is the fourth-largest mobile operator in Spain with more than 3 million customers. (See Euronews: Slim Takes a Breather, Procera Powers Yoigo's Multi-Device Plan, TeliaSonera Launches Yoigo and Ericsson to Run Xfera .)

  • Russia's leading mobile operators -- Mobile TeleSystems OJSC (MTS) (NYSE: MBT), MegaFon and VimpelCom Ltd. (NYSE: VIP) -- plus state-owned Rostelecom are expected to be awarded new LTE spectrum, reports The Moscow Times. Meanwhile, Alisher Usmanov, who owns a majority stake in Megafon, is in the final stages of combining his shareholding with LTE network operator Scartel (better known as Yota ) to create a 4G powerhouse. The resulting holding company would own 100 percent of Scartel and a 50 percent-plus-one-share stake in Megafon. (See Yota Builds LTE Net With Huawei, Euronews: Russia's Ready for LTE and MegaFon Launches LTE in Russia.)

  • Telefónica says it has had several offers for its call center subsidiary Atento Inversiones y Teleservicios, S.A. Unipersonal, which has been valued at around €1 billion ($1.22 billion). According to Bloomberg, Bain Capital is among the parties interested.

  • Mobile network outages are all the rage in Northern Europe. Following Orange France's downtime at the end of last week, now Telefónica UK's O2 has suffered a loss of service for many of its 23 million customers. (See Outage Strikes O2 UK.)

  • The finger of blame for the Orange France service disruption has been pointed at AlcaLu, according to this Reuters report.

  • British mobile giant Vodafone has added to its global empire with the acquisition of New Zealand carrier TelstraClear Ltd. , the "second largest fixed operator in New Zealand with extensive fixed network assets and capabilities," for NZ$840 million ($661 million). (See Vodafone to Buy TelstraClear and this blog by Robert Clark.)

  • Maroc Telecom is looking for voluntary redundancies from its workforce as it seeks to reduce its headcount by about 11 percent (about 1,500 positions), according to Reuters. The operator is owned by Vivendi , which is looking to cut corporate costs. (See Euronews: All Change at Vivendi.)
  • TeliaSonera has written down the value of its NetCom business in Norway and Omnitel in Lithuania. The combined goodwill impairment charge totals 3.07 billion Swedish Krona ($436 million) and will be included in the operator's second-quarter financials, which are due to be announced on July 18.

    — Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading

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