Seems like everything is in play these days when it comes to telecommunications consolidation in Europe. While Americans were all off on a turkey break, across the Atlantic several soap operas continued.
With BT looking at both EE and O2, we’ve seen a quick response from the other big mobile operator in the UK. Vodafone is apparently taking a hard look at Liberty Global, whose cable assets would give the company deeper terrestrial assets across Europe but especially in the UK where they would combine interestingly with the former C&W assets.
Teliasonera has hit a major snag in the planned boost of its Norwegian mobile market via the acquisition of Tele2’s business there. Regulators apparently don’t like the idea of a duopoly much at all. They haven’t officially ruled against it, which leaves some wiggle room for further concessions. But their position doesn’t sound terribly accomodating.
Altice has raised its bid to buy Portugal Telecom from Brazil’s Oi. Their initial €7B bid was one-upped by a €7.07B bid from private equity groups. The new bid by Altice raises the stakes to €7.4B, a half billion of which is conditional upon revenue target. Altice and Oi have now entered exclusive negotiations, suggesting that was probably enough.
And Columbia Capital continued to move ahead with its effort to take euNetworks private. They’ve filed the formal offer document as we wait for a response from euNetworks and its advisors on the deal over at Canaccord Genuity Singapore. Columbia holds a majority stake in the company already, and I continue to believe Columbia’s interest in pursuing this deal is just the first step in a broader consolidation plan.
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