Euro M&A Gossip

Europe's awash with acquisition speculation

June 10, 2008

1 Min Read
Euro M&A Gossip

9:15 AM -- EuroBlog loves a good gossip, so we're frothing at the mouth like a rabid hamster this Tuesday morning with the amount of M&A scuttlebutt that's sloshing around the Old Continent.

First up is the speculation that Norway's national operator, Telenor Group (Nasdaq: TELN), which isn't afraid to put its money where its mouth is, might be lining up a bid for its neighbor Telia Company , which has just turned down a $42 billion bid by Orange (NYSE: FTE). (See TeliaSonera Rejects FT's $42B Bid, Telenor Buys Tele2 Denmark, and Telenor on Billion-Dollar Spree.)

There are two reasons to check out this report from Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten:

  • First, to get some background and find out who's saying what (or not) about the possible creation of a Nordic supercarrier;

  • Second, to see the quite wonderful accompanying picture of Norway's Trade and Industry Minister Dag Terje Andersen. National politician or major party animal? I know which option I'd put money on...

Moving south, the Italian press is suggesting that Telecom Italia (TIM) might look to beef up its broadband presence in Germany, where it already owns HanseNet Telekommunikation GmbH .

The speculation comes just as the Italian stallion looks to sell its French broadband business to Iliad (Euronext: ILD). (See Iliad Closes In on $1.3B Acquisition .)

According to reports by ll Sole 24 Ore, Telecom Italia is interested in Versatel AG, which has 666,000 DSL subscribers (end of March 2008). Hansenet, meanwhile, has nearly 2.4 million broadband customers, and is dabbling with some fiber-to-the-building trials in Hamburg.

— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

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