Архив рубрики: M&A

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Telenor and TeliaSonera comment on European Commission Statement of Objections

Reuters  23.06.2015

 

On June 23, the European Commission took the next step in the investigation into the proposed merger of TeliaSonera and Telenor’s operations in Denmark by addressing a «statement of objections» to the two companies. A statement of objections is an ordinary event in the context of a merger of this type. Contrary to the concerns raised in the statement of objections we firmly believe the merger will ultimately be beneficial for competition and Danish consumers. We will continue in a constructive dialogue with the Commission to make sure all concerns are properly addressed. Combining Telia and Telenor in Denmark is about creating a company with the scale and the capacity to better invest and compete on price, quality and innovation.

 

The European Commission has today taken the next step in the investigation into the proposed merger of TeliaSonera and Telenor’s operations in Denmark by addressing a «statement of objections» to the two companies. A statement of objections is an ordinary event in the context of a merger of this type. Contrary to the concerns raised in the statement of objections we firmly believe the merger will ultimately be beneficial for competition and Danish consumers. We will continue in a constructive dialogue with the Commission to make sure all concerns are properly addressed. We remain committed to the Danish market but have also realised that a fundamental change is needed. Competition in the Danish mobile market is fierce and will remain so in the future. Combining Telia and Telenor in Denmark is about creating a company with the scale and the capacity to better invest and compete on price, quality and innovation. Delivering on this requires investments and if we look back on recent years this has been a challenge. The status quo would lead to a continued drop in investment. We want to create a healthy and profitable company that has the necessary resources to invest in Denmark. It’s first and foremost about providing the best possible experience for our customers, and the businesses that rely on us every day. Investments in networks and technology demonstrate clear benefits for consumers and businesses, supporting an ever more connected society which demands better speed, quality and security in a competitive market. All of which we firmly believe are strengthened with our new organisation in Denmark. We remain confident that the merger will be approved during the second half of 2015. Media Contact Meera Bhatia, meera.bhatia@telenor.com , +47 4684 4959 Atle Lessum, atle.lessum@telenor.com, +47 415 05 645 This announcement is distributed by NASDAQ OMX Corporate Solutions on behalf of NASDAQ OMX Corporate Solutions clients. The issuer of this announcement warrants that they are solely responsible for the content, accuracy and originality of the information contained therein.

 

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/06/23/idUSnHUG3FWjJ5+1da+ONE20150623

 

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Telenor, TeliaSonera ‘confident’ EC will approve Danish merger

Reuters  23.06.2015

 

Telenor and TeliaSonera said on June 23 they were confident that the European Commission would approve a planned merger of their mobile operations in Denmark, overcoming the objections of the European Commission.

 

Norwegian and Swedish telecoms companies Telenor and TeliaSonera said on Tuesday they were confident that the European Commission would approve a planned merger of their mobile operations in Denmark, overcoming the objections of the European Commission. «Contrary to the concerns raised in the statement of objections we firmly believe the merger will ultimately be beneficial for competition and Danish consumers. We will continue in a constructive dialogue with the Commission to make sure all concerns are properly addressed,» the two companies said in a joint statement. «We remain confident that the merger will be approved during the second half of 2015,» they added.

 

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/06/23/telenor-ma-teliasonera-eu-idUSFWN0Z901P20150623

 

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EU anti-trust chief warns Amazon, wary about telecom mergers

Reuters UK  15.06.2015

 

European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager has warned Amazon against using its dominance to thwart rivals. The move comes as Vestager scrutinizes a proposal by Norwegian telecoms company Telenor and Swedish peer TeliaSonera to combine their Danish mobile businesses.

 

People walk outside Amazon’s newly opened distribution center in Bielany Wroclawskie near Wroclaw, southwestern Poland, October 28, 2014. Europe’s anti-trust chief warned Amazon on Monday against using its dominance to thwart rivals, a week after launching an investigation into the U.S. online retailer’s ebook deals with publishers. European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager announced last week she would examine whether clauses in Amazon’s contracts prevent publishers from offering more favorable deals to competitors. Ebooks are a fast-growing industry and Amazon, which popularized the product, is Europe’s biggest player. However, it should not abuse its market dominance, Vestager said. «Amazon should not use its strong position to close the door behind it and prevent companies with new ideas from contesting the market,» she told a conference. The company could be fined up to 10 percent of its global turnover if found guilty of breaching EU rules. The investigation is one of two against Amazon. It is also in the European Commission’s crosshairs for deals with Luxembourg which allow it to pay extremely low taxes. The EU competition authority is investigating whether the case gives Amazon an unfair advantage. Vestager also said she was wary of too many mergers in the telecoms sector, warning that consumers could end up with higher bills and less innovative companies. «Incumbent operators argue that if they cannot merge with their rivals in the same country they will be unable to increase their investment. I’ve heard this claim quite often, but I have not seen evidence that this is the case,» she said. «Instead, there is ample evidence that excessive consolidation may lead not only to less competition and more expensive bills for consumers, but that it also reduces the incentives in national markets to innovate.» Vestager’s comments come as she scrutinizes a proposal by Norwegian telecoms company Telenor and Swedish peer TeliaSonera to combine their Danish mobile businesses. She has already expressed concerns the deal may lead to higher prices. A bigger deal is expected to land on her desk in the coming months: Hutchison Whampoa’s bid to become Britain’s biggest operator by buying Telefonica’s British business, O2 UK, for 10.3 billion pounds ($16 billion).

 

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/06/15/us-eu-amazon-antitrust-idUSKBN0OV14D20150615?feedType=RSS&feedName=technologyNews

 

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EU’s Margrethe Vestager hits out against telecoms consolidation

FT  15.06.2015

 

Margrethe Vestager, EU competition commissioner, has thrown down a marker of her intent to curtail consolidation in Europe’s telecoms industry by dismissing suggestions that a wave of big mergers is needed to boost investment. Vestager’s thinking on telecoms deals has been shaped partly by a prominent case from her native Denmark, where she served as economy minister and deputy prime minister. She launched an in-depth probe in April into a proposed JV between TeliaSonera and Telenor that would reduce the number of operators from four to three.

 

Margrethe Vestager, EU competition commissioner, has thrown down a marker of her intent to curtail consolidation in Europe’s telecoms industry by dismissing suggestions that a wave of big mergers is needed to boost investment. Ms Vestager has expressed particular concern about countries where the number of operators was dropping from four to three, and in a combative speech shot down the main argument used by the companies to justify such tie-ups. “Incumbent operators argue that if they cannot merge with their rivals in the same country they will be unable to increase their investment. I’ve heard this claim quite often, but I have not seen evidence that this is the case,” she said in a speech in Paris. “Instead, there is ample evidence that excessive consolidation may lead not only to less competition and more expensive bills for consumers, but that it also reduces the incentives in national markets to innovate.” A harder line on telecoms mergers would represent a volte-face by Brussels. Under the previous administration, a number of deals in Germany, Austria and Ireland were approved, albeit with some concessions intended to stimulate competition. Ms Vestager’s comments come at a time when a series of deals in the sector are under discussion across the continent. Hutchison Whampoa’s 10bn purchase of O2, the UK mobile group, from Spain’s Telefonica is expected to receive intense scrutiny from the commission. Consolidation in Italy is receiving closer attention after confirmation last month of merger talks between Wind and Three, the country’s third and fourth-largest mobile groups. Companies involved in the UK and Italian deals will hope that the commission’s decision to allow the merger between Telefonica and E-Plus in Germany last year will prove to be a precedent. However Airdata, a regional wireless German operator, has filed an appeal against that decision. Ms Vestager’s thinking on telecoms deals has been shaped partly by a prominent case from her native Denmark, where she served as economy minister and deputy prime minister. She launched an in-depth probe in April into a proposed joint-venture between TeliaSonera and Telenor that would reduce the number of operators from four to three. In her speech, she warned incumbents that she was aware of antitrust abuses. “We have also seen established players abuse their dominant positions to try and prevent competition from alternative operators. And we shouldn’t forget that these alternative operators are also behind major network investments in the EU,” she said. Research from Rewheel, a consultancy, suggests that prices rise sharply following merger approvals, citing the tie-up between Hutchison and Orange in Austria. However, telecoms executives retort that price rises tend to be matched by an increase in data capacity or improved services. Stephen Howard, an analyst at HSBC, argued that telecoms consolidation would boost network investment, which would in turn drive prices lower and bandwidths higher. HSBC could find no evidence to support the argument that there have been price rises in Austria and said “prices are in fact falling”. Last month, Brussels cleared Orange’s €3.4bn acquisition of Jazztel, the Spanish cable group, but demanded that the French group make concessions that would allow a new player to enter the Spanish market.

 

http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/c60c18e6-1348-11e5-bd3c-00144feabdc0.html#axzz3d5xo1vNE

 

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VimpelCom plans to buy SMARTS’ subsidiary in Kalmykia

Vedomosti  15.06.2015

 

 
The FAS has granted a request filed by VimpelCom to acquire a 100% stake in SMARTS-Elista.

 

Федеральная антимонопольная служба (ФАС) РФ удовлетворила ходатайство «Вымпелкома» о приобретении 100% АО «СМАРТС-Элиста», говорится в сообщении ведомства. Стороны не комментируют возможную покупку калмыцкой компании. В ноябре прошлого года ФАС также удовлетворила ходатайства «Вымпелкома» о приобретении трех активов СМАРТС — ЗАО «СМАРТС-Чебоксары», ЗАО «Астрахань GSM» и ЗАО «Ярославль-GSM». Гендиректор «Вымпелкома» Михаил Слободин говорил, что оператор не будет торопиться с приобретением этих активов. Интерфакс

 

http://www.vedomosti.ru/newspaper/articles/2015/06/14/596315-vkrattse

 

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Spanish stocks — Factors to watch on Friday

Reuters.com  12.06.2015

 

Britain’s Virgin Group is interested in potentially acquiring a Spanish telecom operator Yoigo, which belongs to TeliaSonera, El Economista reported on June 12, citing sources familiar with the situation.

 

The following Spanish stocks may be affected by newspaper reports and other factors on Friday. Reuters has not verified the newspaper reports, and cannot vouch for their accuracy: TELECOMS Britain’s Virgin Group is interested in potentially acquiring Spanish telecoms operator Yoigo, which belongs to TeliaSonera, El Economista reported on Friday, citing sources familiar with the situation. TELEFONICA Spain’s Telefonica holds its annual shareholder meeting on Friday. For today’s European market outlook double click on .EU. For real-time moves on the Spanish blue-chip index IBEX please double click on .IBEX For IBEX constituent stocks highlight .IBEX in the command box and press the F3 button on your keyboard For latest news on Spanish stock moves double click HOT-ES For Spanish language market report double click on .MES For latest Eurostocks report please double click on .EU

 

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/06/12/markets-spain-factors-idUSL5N0YY0HD20150612

 

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Britain’s Virgin exploring possible purchase of Spain’s Yoigo: report

New York Times  12.06.2015

 

Britain’s Virgin Group, run by billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson, is looking to potentially buy Spanish budget mobile operator Yoigo from Sweden’s TeliaSonera. Virgin was not immediately available to comment, while TeliaSonera and Yoigo declined to comment.

 

Britain’s Virgin Group is looking to potentially buy Spanish budget mobile operator Yoigo from Sweden’s TeliaSonera, El Economista newspaper reported on Friday, citing sources with knowledge of the situation. Virgin, run by billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson and which has spanned mobile phones, airlines and music stores, is studying ways break into the Spanish telecoms market and has held talks with Yoigo’s owners, the report said. Virgin was not immediately available to comment, while TeliaSonera and Yoigo declined to comment. The Swedish telecoms group scrapped plans to sell Yoigo two years ago, when it struggled to attract high enough bids. Britain’s Vodafone, seen at the time as a possible bidder, has since acquired Spanish cable operator Ono. Spain’s telecoms market has recently been through a round of consolidation, with France’s Orange also swooping on broadband operator Jazztel. A sale of Yoigo would likely fetch far less than the multi-billion-euro Ono or Jazztel deals, however. In 2013 it had been expected to go for around 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion). ($1 = 0.8962 euros) (Reporting by Sarah White; Additional reporting by Sarah Young in London and Helena Soderpalm in Stockholm; Editing by Paul Day and Mark Potter)

 

http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2015/06/12/business/12reuters-yoigo-m-a-virgin.html?ref=international

 

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Britain’s Virgin exploring possible purchase of Spain’s Yoigo: report

Reuters UK  12.06.2015

 

Britain’s Virgin Group, run by billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson, is looking to potentially buy Spanish budget mobile operator Yoigo from Sweden’s TeliaSonera. Virgin was not immediately available to comment, while TeliaSonera and Yoigo declined to comment.

 

Virgin Group founder Richard Branson speaks at the Institute of Directors annual convention in London September 18, 2013. Britain’s Virgin Group is looking to potentially buy Spanish budget mobile operator Yoigo from Sweden’s TeliaSonera (TLSN.ST), El Economista newspaper reported on Friday, citing sources with knowledge of the situation. Virgin, run by billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson and which has spanned mobile phones, airlines and music stores, is studying ways break into the Spanish telecoms market and has held talks with Yoigo’s owners, the report said. Virgin was not immediately available to comment, while TeliaSonera and Yoigo declined to comment. The Swedish telecoms group scrapped plans to sell Yoigo two years ago, when it struggled to attract high enough bids. Britain’s Vodafone (VOD.L), seen at the time as a possible bidder, has since acquired Spanish cable operator Ono. Spain’s telecoms market has recently been through a round of consolidation, with France’s Orange ( ORAN.PA ) also swooping on broadband operator Jazztel ( JAZ.MC ). A sale of Yoigo would likely fetch far less than the multi-billion-euro Ono or Jazztel deals, however. In 2013 it had been expected to go for around 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion). ($1 = 0.8962 euros) (Reporting by Sarah White; Additional reporting by Sarah Young in London and Helena Soderpalm in Stockholm

 

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/06/12/us-yoigo-m-a-virgin-idUSKBN0OS0SN20150612?feedType=RSS&feedName=technologyNews

 

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UPDATE 1-Eyeing faster growth, TeliaSonera buys stake in Spotify

Reuters  10.06.2015

 

TeliaSonera said it will pay USD115 mln to acquire a 1.4% stake in Spotify, a Stockholm-based music streamer, which would value the company at about USD8.2 bln.

 

* TeliaSonera buys 1.4 pct stake in Spotify for $115 mln * Deal gives Spotify $8.2 bln valuation (Adds Telia CEO, background) STOCKHOLM, June 10 (Reuters) — Sweden’s largest telecom operator TeliaSonera is buying a 1.4 percent stake in music streaming service Spotify, hoping to grab a slice of the fast growth and speedy innovation typical of online companies. TeliaSonera said on Wednesday it will pay $115 million for a batch of newly issued shares in Spotify as it expands its partnership with the unlisted Stockholm-based business, that provides free on-demand music or an advertisement-free service for paying customers, valuing the company at about $8.2 billion. TeliaSonera Chief Executive Johan Dennelind said the investment was part of a strategy to solve what he called «the industry puzzle», seeking new ways to grow in the face of stalling growth for telecom operators in their core business. Like many European peers, the Swedish telecom incumbent has had a hard time growing revenue in its home market in the face of fierce competition. «We want to master the internet logic as well as we have mastered the telecom logic,» Dennelind said, pointing to faster growth in online services than in traditional telecoms. «We haven’t been quick enough in the past. And this is a way for us to take part in a company that has it as its DNA: innovation, speed, ideas, launches and global competition.» He declined to say if Telia might boost its stake in future or give details on what new services and offers the companies would work on together as part of the expanded partnership. Dennelind said Telia could decide to take further steps with companies operating in what he called the border area between the telecom, media and internet industries. Spotify, which competes with Pandora Media Inc and Apple Inc’s Beats, said this year that it had reached 15 million subscribers and 60 million active users. The company, which last year increased revenue by 45 percent to 1.08 billion euros ($1.2 billion) and made a 165 million euros operating loss, recently announced that it would soon provide video content from musicians, news organisations and TV networks. Spotify does not disclose details about its ownership but co-founders Daniel Ek and Martin Lorentzon have sold stakes in the business and no longer own a majority. ($1 = 0.8846 euros) (Reporting by Sven Nordenstam and Helena Soderpalm; Editing by David Goodman and David Holmes )

 

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/06/10/teliasonera-spotify-idUSL5N0YW1PD20150610

 

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TeliaSonera seeks to bask in Spotify’s glory

SVD.se  10.06.2015

 

The Stockholm-based music streamer Spotify received a valuation topping SEK68 bln (USD8.2 bln) in its latest round of funding, after TeliaSonera said it will invest USD115 mln to buy a 1.4% stake in Spotify.

 

Spotifys affar med Telia Sonera ger musiktjansten stora fordelar pa stora tillvaxtmarknader. Telia sjalva vill nog mest sola sig i Spotifys glans. Telia Sonera pytsar in narmare 1 miljard kronor i Spotify. Man kan ocksa saga att staten som delagare gar in med drygt 350 miljoner i ett bolag som idag ar langt ifran lonsamhet. Nyheten, som kom under onsdagen, bekraftar dessutom Spotifys nya vardering pa 68 miljarder kronor, omkring 1 procent av Apples totala borsvarde. Spotify valjer Telia av mer eller mindre uppenbara skal. Vare sig operatoren har hetat Sprint eller Deutsche Telekom har stromningstjansten alltid tjanat pa att paketeras med mobilabonnemang. Telia har bakat in Spotify-prenumerationer i sina abonnemang sedan 2009. Spotify kan inte stoppa angvalten Apple, som i ett enda obrytt slag lanserar sin musiktjanst i over 100 lander, mot Spotifys 58. Men de kan konkurrera pa marknader dar Apples musikaffar Itunes inte ar lika stark som i USA, Storbritannien eller Kina. Det ar dar Telia Sonera kommer in i bilden. I Centralasien och i lander som Nepal, Georgien och Azerbajdzjan sitter Telia Soneras dotterbolag pa omkring 30 miljoner kunder. Om Telia bakar in Spotify i sina abonnemang kan musiktjansten mer an dubbla sitt antal betalande prenumeranter – hardvalutan over alla andra i den digitala musikvarlden. Spotify kan genom affaren ocksa gardera sig for en tid dar operatorer, frustrerade av att kunderna bara ser dem som ett satt att komma at populara appar som Netflix eller Viaplay, valjer att borja strypa bandbredden till vissa tjanster med irriterande laddningstider som foljd. Netflix har redan betalat amerikanska internetleverantoren Comcast for att deras kunder ska kunna stromma filmer och tv-serier pa ett smidigt satt. Telia fa ocksa en mojlighet att synas. Analytiker menar att samarbeten med digitala musiktjanster sallan ar lonsamma for operatorerna. Daremot ar de viktiga som marknadsforingskanal. I stallet for att gegga ner sig i sin sjalvforvallade korruptionsrora i Centralasien vill Telia rida pa Spotifys varumarke. Vd Johan Dennelind pratar redan om ”innnovationslust” som om han gled runt pa stan med en laptop under armen och revolutionsromantiska drommar om det digitala. Vi har sett det forr. Den kommunala musikskolan tar garna at sig aran for svensk musikexport. Saval ministrar som finansborgarrad vill synas ihop med Spotify och narhelst tillfalle bjuds inflika att det var just dem som gjorde Sverige till en it-nation. Nu vill operatorerna fa kredd for att de faktiskt mojliggor att vi kan lyssna pa musik, se pa teve och folja aktiekursen pa telefonen medan vi aker buss. Sedan kan Telia alltid hoppas att Spotify fortsatter vaxa i vardering. Da kanske den investerade miljarden inte bara ger goodwill, utan aven pengar. Men ska man tro Spotify ar det langt kvar till bade lonsamhet och borsnotering. Och darmed till utdelning for skattebetalarna.

 

http://www.svd.se/telia-vill-sola-sig-i-spotifys-glans/i/senaste/