French multi-play operator Bouygues has announced plans to cut more than 1,500 jobs, after CEO Olivier Roussat told a press briefing that consolidation-focused discussions being held with incumbent Orange and fast-growing newcomer Iliad had stalled.
The Spanish telecoms market continues to be a hotbed of consolidation, as European private equity firm Cinven on Monday announced plans to acquire a fibre network running through Spain and Latin America, from Spanish natural gas utility, Gas Natural Fenosa, for €510m.
The French and Italian mobile markets could both be on the verge of significant consolidation, according to reports from news agency Reuters. In France incumbent telco Orange has set two investment banks to investigate the potential takeover of rival Bouygues, while talks have resumed between Hutchison and Vimpelcom, which own 3 Italia and Wind respectively, about a potential merger. In both instances Reuteurs cited unnamed sources close to the situation.
A widely expected deal that will see US operator Sprint acquire its competitor T-Mobile USA is nearing completion, according to a number of reports citing inside sources. News agency Bloomberg said that an agreement on the price, capital structure and termination fee is close and that the deal would value T-Mobile at $40/share, or roughly $31bn.
The South African mobile operator subsidiary of UK-headquartered Vodafone has announced an agreement to acquire the market’s second largest fixed communications provider, Neotel, in a cash deal worth ZAR7.0bn ($673m). Negotiations between Vodacom and Neotel were announced in September last year, when Vodacom CEO Shameel Joosub pledged to pump significant investment into the merged entity should talks prove fruitful.
US carrier AT&T has announced plans to acquire US and Latin American pay TV player DirecTV in a deal valued at $48.5bn. The deal will create a service provider with an offering across mobile, broadband and video that is unprecedented in the market, AT&T said. The transaction, which also involves AT&T assuming $18.6bn in debt, should take a year to complete, the telco said.
French incumbent telco Orange has announced that it is to sell its 53 per cent stake in Orange Uganda to Africell, an aspiring pan-regional operator that currently provides services in the DRC, Gambia and Sierra Leone. The deal awaits approval from the relevant authorities, Orange said.
Carphone Warehouse, which earlier this week announced plans to merge with UK high street consumer electronics retailer Dixons, has announced that it is in discussions to sell Omer Telecom, the holding company which owns Virgin Mobile France, to French cable player Numericable. In April this year Numericable’s parent Altice struck a deal to acquire French mobile operator SFR, which it intends to merge with Numericable.
German incumbent Deutsche Telekom is demanding a $1bn break-up fee be made part of any attempted takeover of its US operation T-Mobile by Sprint in order to approve the deal, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. The payment, from Sprint to Deutsche Telekom, would be required should an agreed deal be derailed; perhaps blocked by regulatory or competition authorities.