Eurobites: Xavier Niel bids €3.1 billion to take Iliad private

Also in today's EMEA regional round-up: Proximus earnings slip in Q2; Sparkle teams up with Google on subsea links; Orange sets targets.

July 30, 2021

3 Min Read
Europe Network

By Paul Rainford

Also in today’s EMEA regional round-up: Proximus earnings slip in Q2; Sparkle teams up with Google on subsea links; Orange sets targets.

  • Shares in French operator Iliad soared by as much as 62% on the Paris exchange on Friday morning in response to billionaire owner Xavier Niel’s €3.1 billion bid – equivalent to €182 per share – to take his company private. As Bloomberg reports (paywall applies), Niel was concerned about the recent drop in value of Iliad’s shares after a period of customer losses and heavy spending. According to Bloomberg, the proposed deal – which echoes Patrick Drahi’s decision to take Altice Europe private back in 2020 – values Iliad at about €10.85 billion.

  • Underlying earnings at Belgium’s Proximus fell 3.7% year-on-year in the second quarter, to €459 million, on revenues that rose 2.4%, to €1.08 billion. During the period, Proximus added 48,000 postpaid mobile customers, 10,000 internet subscriptions and 12,000 TV subs. In light of the results, Proximus has reiterated its 2021 outlook.

  • Sparkle, Telecom Italia’s international services arm, is to collaborate with Google on the construction of two new subsea cable systems. One, called ‘Blue’, will connect Italy, Greece and Israel; the other, ‘Raman’ links Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Djibouti, Oman and India. Each system will be equipped with 16 fibre pairs and will support multiple fiber tenants in line with ‘open cable’ principles.

  • Orange will today set out its short-term targets for three of its business areas that it regards as ‘growth drivers’, namely Orange Africa & the Middle East, Orange Business Services and Orange Cyberdefense. For Africa & the Middle East, Orange expects by 2023 to have reached an average annual growth rate (CAGR) in revenues of around 6% and double-digit EBITDAaL growth; for OBS, Orange hopes to achieve a CAGR in revenue of around 2% per year in 2022 and 2023, and a return to EBITDAaL growth in 2022, which should then accelerate in 2023; and for Cyberdefense, Orange plans to achieve double-digital revenue growth and an EBITDAaL margin in the medium term about double that of today. Easy.

  • Telefónica’s cybersecurity arm, Telefónica Tech, is to acquire Cancom UK&I for €398 million in a deal which the Spanish giant hopes will bolster Telefónica Tech’s Cloud and Cybersecurity division in the UK and Ireland. Cancom UK&I’s 600 employees will join the Telefónica fold once the transaction is completed. Cancom UK&I recorded revenues of €155 million in 2020.

  • Polish wholesaler Hawe Telekom has set up a new research and development unit, ‘R&D Lab 360’, in a bid to develop new products and services that exploit the likes of 5G, network security and ‘Industry 4.0’ technologies.

  • Sky, the UK-based purveyor of pay-TV and more, says it has hit its target of sourcing 100% renewable electricity across its entire business – a significant milestone on its journey towards ‘net zero carbon’ status, which it expects to complete by 2030.

  • BT is one of seven UK companies that have pledged to work together with the British government to help encourage the electrification of the UK’s transport system as part of the Electric Vehicle Fleet Accelerator (EVFA) group. Group members have committed to converting their transport fleets to electric vehicles by 2030 and to buying British – collectively buying 70,000 UK-built vans by 2030 or sooner.

  • Lycamobile, the UK-based MVNO that specializes in cut-price international calling, has appointed Solomon Matthews as CEO of its Ugandan operations. He joins Lycamobile from Vodafone Idea, where he was vice president and head of sales for three years.— Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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