James Middleton

September 22, 2008

1 Min Read
Consolidation rumour roundup

It’s only Monday, but there are already a number of rumours circulating on potential mergers in the telecoms industry.

UK-based Vodafone is believed to be on the verge of a deal with South African partner Telkom, with an eye to taking a larger stake in the Vodacom mobile operation.

At present, Big Red holds 50 per cent of Vodacom, but has long been keen to increase its stake and has come close on occasion, although talks with Telkom always seem to break down.

It now looks like Telkom might be willing to sell Vodafone a further 12.5 per cent, following the break down of merger talks between Telkom and Nigerian mobile operator Globacom, owned by business tycoon Mike Adenuga.

Egyptian carrier Orascom is also in the spotlight, after it was reported to have expressed an interest in Austrian operator Telekom Austria. It is thought that Telekom’s main shareholder, the government, is now considering selling a stake in the carrier to Naguib Sawiaris’ outfit, with funding to come from the Orascom head honcho’s private equity business, Weather Investments.

Meanwhile, in the fixed line world, UK retail house the Carphone Warehouse is reported to be making a move on the UK business of Italian operator, Tiscali. This is a revival of an old rumour however. Carphone has long been cited as the hot favourite to take over Tiscali’s UK unit.

About the Author(s)

James Middleton

James Middleton is managing editor of telecoms.com | Follow him @telecomsjames

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