Eurobites: Altice Eyes Portugal Telecom Bid

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Spirent profits warning hits share price; Nokia does live VoLTE for du; BSkyB's takeover plans please shareholders.

  • Altice, the French group that owns cable operator Numericable-SFR and SFR , is rumored to be bidding to buy Portugal Telecom SGPS SA (NYSE: PT), Reuters reports. If it went ahead, the deal would break up the proposed merger of Brazil's Oi and Portugal Telecom, which was first agreed more than a year ago. The terms of that troubled merger were renegotiated this summer, causing the CEO of Portugal Telecom to quit. Altice already owns cable and business services operations in Portugal (Cabovisão and Oni), so the move fits in with its M&A strategy of acquiring assets in markets where it already has a presence. Portugal Telecom generated revenues of €2.9 billion (US$3.66 billion) in 2013 from its near 5.2 million fixed line and 7.9 million mobile customers. (See Euronews: Portugal Telecom Agrees Oi Merger.)

  • Spirent Communications plc saw its share price plummet by 19% on the London Stock Exchange after it warned that "soft" market conditions would result in worse-than-expected financials for the second half of this year. The UK-based test systems specialist issued a trading statement to say that "demand levels dipped sharply as a result of merger activity and delays in capital expenditure as future new technology deployments are being assessed in areas in which Spirent has increased its investments." (See Spirent Slammed by Slowdown.)

  • Nokia Networks has been helping Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Co. (du) implement voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) on its live, multi-vendor network. Nokia's VoLTE offering is based on its IMS platform and was implemented in 80 days, which the vendor is claiming as a world record. (See Nokia Networks Helps du Make VoLTE Calls.)

  • British triple-play provider Sky has won shareholder approval for its plan to buy Sky Deutschland Fernsehen GmbH & Co. KG and Sky Italia from Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox, Reuters reports. BSkyB is hoping that the double takeover, which will cost up to £7.4 billion ($11.8 billion), will give it the chance to expand in mainland Europe.

  • Televõrgu, the Swedish wholesale network operator, has deployed ADVA Optical Networking 's 100G core to connect Northern and Eastern European countries to Central Europe over a route that passes through the Baltic states and Poland. ADVA's solution uses coherent detection technology and RAMAN amplification to transport up to 9.6 Tbit/s of data across 3,000km of fiber.

  • Belgian cable operator Telenet has upgraded its Leap policy control software, partly so it functions better within a virtualized environment and integrates with Telenet's new DPI infrastructure. Leap is supplied by Israel's FTS (London: FTS), a long time Service Provider Information Technology (SPIT) specialist. (See Telenet Upgrades Its FTS Policy Control System.)

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

  • James_B_Crawshaw 10/7/2014 | 4:01:43 PM
    Re: Interesting empire building by Altice If Altice doesn't buy PT then it might sell its Portuguese business to Vodafone. 

    Vodafone has 33% share of the mobile market in Portugal and PT has 47% so VOD would be blocked from buying PT on anti-trust grounds. NOS is the other MNO with 19% share. Altice has just 7% share of the payTV market in Portugal; the acquisition of PT would give them another 42% share of payTV taking them ahead of NOS's 45%. 
    [email protected] 10/7/2014 | 8:14:51 AM
    Interesting empire building by Altice If Altice does bid for and by Portugal Tel;ecom, that would be a very interesting empire, with major strength in France and Portugal... for starters. 

    I'm sure Vodafone has been watching Altice closely...
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