Welcome back from that long weekend, summer's over now. While the US is still catching up on its email, here's a quick look at some overseas news:
Reports this morning have Russian mobile operator MegaFon planning a London IPO. They've asked UK regulators for permission to sell a 20% stake worth as much as $4B. If it happens, it will make the Russian market feel much closer than it does right now, with another telecommunications billionaire along with it. MegaFon is controlled by Alisher Usamanov, who is said to be worth $18B+. I wonder if, like Carlos Slim, he has other plans in Europe.
In other Russian-related news, British Telecom (NYSE:BT, news, filings) partnered up with Rostelecom to extend its reach far to the east. With the European theatre still struggling, global telecommunications firms are looking to boost their growth prospects elsewhere, and Russia's presence at the fringe of it all has been evolving rapidly.
In Italy, wholesale metro and regional fiber operator Metroweb is said to be close to big deals with both Vodafone and Wind. Metroweb was purchased by private equity last summer for €436M with Fastweb buying in as well, and the company has since announced a giant 30 city €4.5B+ FTTH buildout plan.
And Ericsson won the expansion of a key media partnership with TV5MONDE. They'll be integrating and operating TV5MONDE's broadcast platform infrastructure, which helps send their content to a couple hundred households worldwide. No doubt they'll be working with Tata, assuming they still hold the CDN contract they won a few years back.