Wed, Jun. 17, 9:51 AM
- Germany's big three wireless carriers have taken the country's multi-band wireless spectrum auction past its 163rd round and matched the bid total from five years ago, with more to come.
- Telefonica Deutschland (NYSE:TEF), Deutsche Telekom (OTCQX:DTEGY) and Vodafone (NASDAQ:VOD) have combined for €4.38B in bids (about $4.9B), the total received in 2010, when there were four bidders.
- Bidding is ongoing, but has slowed in recent days.
- Action has been heavy in the 1.8-GHz band -- where Telefonica Deutschland is protecting its stronger position while it skips the unpaired 1.5 GHz sale -- and in 900 MHz.
- The 700 MHz band (good for city/indoor coverage) is for sale for the first time, and today saw its first offers raised beyond the minimum bid.
- Deutsche Telekom has been the big bidder in the auction.
- Previously: Deutsche Telekom leads spending in German spectrum auction (May. 30 2015)
Fri, Jun. 12, 5:19 PM
- Today in telecom consolidation speculation: While Dish Network (NASDAQ:DISH) and T-Mobile (NYSE:TMUS) have been talking about a deal with upsides for both (and shareholders have driven DISH up 2.6%, TMUS up 1.8% since word broke June 3), they aren't each other's only option.
- And much of what transpires there depends on T-Mo parent Deutsche Telekom (OTCQX:DTEGY) and what it wants to do with an asset that can command top dollar as perhaps the last attainable big U.S. cell provider.
- “They’re obviously controlled by a German company who has strategic initiatives, both in Europe and the United States, and they may not be in a position where they want to do anything," Dish chief Charlie Ergen said in a Bloomberg TV interview.
- From Dish's perspective: It doesn't need to rush, as it's making free cash flow and has time to sit on its large spectrum stockpiles yet. Ergen could look for a sale to Verizon (NYSE:VZ), or break the spectrum off into a separate company with a sale-leaseback. In any case, many deals that seemed well under way have been kiboshed by the mercurial Ergen.
- Fron T-Mobile's: Deutsche Telekom is reportedly worried about an overvalued Dish and getting too much of that stock. T-Mobile could probably command $49/share in a sale, or a 25% premium, says Gabelli's Sergey Dluzhevskiy. One company that wouldn't blink at that price would be Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) in its own quad-play grab.
- Altice (OTC:ATCEY), which considered a run at Time Warner Cable (NYSE:TWC), could be a long-shot for T-Mobile, or even Charter (NASDAQ:CHTR). And with AT&T expanding in Mexico, how interesting would it be if América Móvil (NYSE:AMX) pumped up its U.S. presence with Big Magenta?
Fri, Jun. 12, 9:19 AM
- As Liberty Global (NASDAQ:LBTYA) and Vodafone (NASDAQ:VOD) talk about swapping assets in Europe, both companies think increased telecom competition has made Europe's regulators more relaxed about consolidation issues.
- "We see that big telecoms providers are allowed to merge," Manuel Cubero, chief executive of Vodafone's Kabel Deutschland told Reuters in Germany. "We see that politicians support this trend in order to strengthen the ability of companies to invest."
- Germany is one epicenter of the swaps discussion as the two companies have heavy overlap in the region. It's Vodafone's largest market by sales and likely hopes to get Liberty cable operations there in any swap -- "The more we grow, the better we can compete with Deutsche Telekom (OTCQX:DTEGY) in broadband," says Cubero -- but neither firm may be willing to part with UK business.
- "The Commission's view of consolidation in the telecom sector in Europe has changed," says Lutz Schueler, head of Liberty's German business Unitymedia.
- Vodafone's Kabel Deutschland and Liberty's Unitymedia are the No. 1 and No. 2 cable operators in Germany respectively. The country has 29.6M broadband connections, but 23.3M of those are via phone lines and more than half of those controlled by Deutsche Telekom.
Thu, Jun. 11, 5:45 PM
- Dish Network (NASDAQ:DISH) is talking to banks about funding a bid to acquire T-Mobile (NYSE:TMUS), to the tune of $10B-$15B in borrowing for the cash part of the deal, The Wall Street Journal is reporting.
- T-Mobile is up 3.6% after hours; Dish is up 1.7%.
- The deal's in early stages, but as discussed, the stock portion would leave T-Mobile parent Deutsche Telekom (OTCQX:DTEGY) with a significant minority stake in the combo.
- No word on how much Dish would pay for T-Mobile, but talking with banks shows it's moving forward.
- In the previous discussions, one key issue already seems sorted out among the personality-laden leaders: Dish CEO Charlie Ergen would serve as chairman, while T-Mobile's John Legere would be CEO.
Fri, Feb. 27, 9:44 AM
- Digital Turbine (NASDAQ:APPS) has opened up 6% as it announces it will launch its Ignite platform with Deutsche Telekom (OTCQX:DTEGY).
- The solution is designed to get applications onto mobile devices faster, using zero-rated data (doesn't count against consumer caps) in more of a just-in-time way than with previous preloaded apps.
- The company is promising dynamic app delivery optimized per mobile device "in the coming months."
- Deutsche Telekom has more than 142M mobile customers; Digital Turbine's products are used by 31M customers/month.
Fri, Feb. 27, 9:19 AM
- Speaking at Deutsche Telekom's (OTCQX:DTEGY) capital markets day, T-Mobile (NYSE:TMUS) chief John Legere reiterated comments he made last week about the prospects of a wireless partnership with satellite company Dish Network (NASDAQ:DISH): "Dish and we, that makes some sense."
- "It makes sense from the standpoint of integrating that spectrum and capability and deploying it at our network," Legere says of Dish's spectrum hoard. (Of course, he's been critical of Dish's auction bidding when it suited him.)
- Legere also says that facing rapid customer growth, T-Mobile has cut its margin target -- seeing margin on EBITDA of 32-34% in 2017, vs. its previous target of 34-36%.
- For his part, Dish's Charlie Ergen has had sweet talk for T-Mobile as well.
- Previously: T-Mobile's knockout Q4: Turning the profit corner; are they No. 3? (Feb. 19 2015)
Tue, Feb. 24, 8:02 PM
- U.K. mobile firms are likely looking at a license fee increase as regulator Ofcom follows its government mandate to ensure spectrum fees reflect market value.
- EE (ORAN, OTCQX:DTEGY) -- on its way to becoming part of BT Group (NYSE:BT) -- Three (OTCPK:HUWHY), O2 (NYSE:TEF) and Vodafone (NASDAQ:VOD) could see fees for the 900 MHz and 1800 MHz bands rising to a total £223.3M/year ($345.5M/year) -- up from the combined £64.4M/year they pay now.
- Considering proportional increases, EE might see its current £24.9M/year rise to £75.6M.
- Related mobile stocks were up today, with the exception of Vodafone, which saw a downgrade from Bank of America: ORAN +1.7%; OTCQX:DTEGY +1.9%; TEF +1.4%; OTCPK:HUWHY +0.3%; VOD -3.3%.
- Previously: Vodafone lower after BofA downgrade (Feb. 24 2015)
Fri, Feb. 13, 10:12 AM
- European cable giant Liberty Global (LBTYA) will pay €183.5M (about $209M) to a pair of companies who had raised issues with Liberty's €3B purchase of KabelBW.
- Deutsche Telekom (OTCQX:DTEGY) and NetCologne will withdraw litigation that might have led to the unwinding of the 2012 deal. German competition regulators have OK'd the arrangement after forcing another look at the purchase in 2013.
- Liberty class A shares are up 2.3% on the news on heavy volume so far.
Tue, Jan. 20, 11:28 AM
- Believing T-Mobile (TMUS +1.4%) will see "an inflection to positive and rapidly growing [free cash flow] in 2015," Goldman's Brett Feldman has upgraded the Un-Carrier to Conviction Buy from Neutral, and hiked its target by $10 to $37.
- Feldman also thinks T-Mobile will provide strong 2015 EBITDA guidance, thanks to slowing expense growth and higher MetroPCS synergies. He forecasts 2015 EBITDA of $7.7B (above a $7.09B consensus), and has upped his 2015 net postpaid subscriber add estimate by 500K to 3.5M (implies further share gains).
- Meanwhile, in comments that might be aimed at U.S. politicians and regulators more than investors, Deutsche Telekom (OTCQX:DTEGY) CEO Tim Hoettges insists T-Mobile's current approach isn't sustainable, and that a merger is the U.S. subsidiary's best long-term hope for achieving needed scale. "I was intrigued by the idea of having a combination with Sprint and being the ‘super-maverick’ in the market. I hope that the political environment will change at one point in time."
- T-Mobile and (especially) Sprint plunged last year after Sprint abandoned its merger efforts in the face of FCC/DOJ opposition. T-Mobile's recent postpaid share gains likely influenced regulatory thinking.
Dec. 15, 2014, 12:27 PM
- BT (BT +0.2%) has entered into exclusive buyout talks with Orange (ORAN -0.9%) and Deutsche Telekom (OTCQX:DTEGY) regarding the purchase of their EE U.K. mobile JV. The exclusivity period will last several weeks, during which time BT will conduct due diligence.
- The companies are discussing a deal in which BT would pay £12.5B ($19.5B) in cash and stock to acquire EE, which claims 24.5M mobile subs (#1 in the U.K.). Deutsche would gain a 12% stake in BT, and have the right to appoint one director. Orange would have a 4% stake.
- BT and Orange have been halted. Telefonica (TEF -2.3%), which was talking with BT about selling U.K. carrier O2, has joined many other European names in selling off. Deutsche fell 1.8% today in Frankfurt.
Dec. 10, 2014, 10:00 AM
- The U.K.'s This is Money reports BT (BT +0.5%) is "poised to strike" a deal to buy Telefonica's (TEF -0.4%) O2 unit, and that an announcement could be made as early as this week.
- BT has shown interest in both O2 and Orange (ORAN -0.9%)/Deutsche Telekom's (OTCQX:DTEGY) EE JV, as the carrier tries to fully re-enter the U.K. mobile market (it already owns an MVNO) and offer quad-play bundles. O2 (has 24M customers) is believed to be a less costly M&A target than EE (27M customers).
- Orange CEO Stephane Richard has said he expects BT to make a decision on which carrier to bid for before Christmas.
Nov. 24, 2014, 9:29 AM
- Nearly a decade after it sold U.K. mobile carrier O2 to Telefonica (NYSE:TEF), BT is thinking of either buying back O2 or acquiring rival EE from Orange (NYSE:ORAN) and Deutsche Telekom (OTCQX:DTEGY), the FT reports. Spain's El Confidencial reports Telefonica could sell O2 in exchange for a 20% stake in BT.
- BT owns 4G spectrum, and already offers MVNO services through a deal with EE. EE and Vodafone are hatching plans to encroach on BT's turf by offering quad-play bundles. Engadget notes acquiring a mobile carrier make BT the only carrier with "full control over its home phone, broadband, mobile and TV services."
- BT has confirmed it has "received expressions of interest from shareholders in two UK mobile network operators, of which one is O2, about a possible transaction in which BT would acquire their UK mobile business." Orange CEO Stephane Richard recently stated EE's 50/50 ownership structure was unlikely to last.
- BT +3.3% premarket. TEF +1.5%.
Nov. 21, 2014, 12:02 PM
- "The 50-50 situation isn't a long-term scheme," says Orange (NYSE:ORAN) CEO Stephane Richard about his company's Everything Everywhere U.K. mobile JV with Deutsche Telekom (OTCQX:DTEGY). He adds "all options are open," but cautions investors not to "expect anything spectacular in the short-term."
- Bloomberg reported in October Orange and Deutsche were open to an EE sale, while adding an IPO was still "the most likely outcome" for the JV.
- With price competition remaining fierce and rivals narrowing EE's 4G coverage lead, the carrier saw its subscriber base (still the U.K.'s largest) fall by 2% Y/Y in Q3 to 24.5M. Both EE and rivals are now investing in offering triple-play packages.
- Orange has rallied on a good day for European equities. France's CAC 40 index is up 2.7%.
Nov. 11, 2014, 3:32 PM
- Orange (ORAN +3.9%) and Telefonica (TEF +2%) are higher in U.S. trading after Vodafone reported a smaller-than-expected calendar Q3 service revenue decline and upped its FY15 (ends March '15) EBITDA guidance. Over in Frankfurt, Deutsche Telekom (OTCQX:DTEGY) rose 2.2%.
- Though improved from Q2's 7.9% decline, Vodafone's European service revenue still fell 5% Y/Y in Q3. European mobile service revenue fell 5.6% (improved from Q2's 9% drop), as price pressure and voice/SMS revenue declines continue taking a toll.
Nov. 11, 2014, 6:59 AM
- The German government is considering decreasing its stakes in Deutsche Telekom (OTCQX:DTEGY) and Deutsche Post, and could renew the idea of selling shares in rail operator Deutsche Bahn depending on market conditions, according to a finance ministry document seen by Reuters.
- The document, to be presented to Chancellor Angela Merkel's cabinet on Wednesday, outlines plans for the government's holdings in a range of companies.
- The government currently has a 14.3% direct stake in the telecommunications operator.
Oct. 23, 2014, 10:40 AM
- Though it rejected Iliad's overtures, Deutsche Telekom (OTCQX:DTEGY) is still trying to find a suitor for T-Mobile USA (TMUS +2.7%), Germany's Manager Magazin reports.
- The magazine speculates America Movil (AMX +0.8%), which no longer counts AT&T as an investor, could make a bid. For now, Carlos Slim's carrier only operates in the U.S. through its TracFone Wireless prepaid MVNO.
- AMX is also about to get a windfall from the sale of Mexican assets being unloaded to appease regulators.
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Deutsche Telekom (OTCQX: DTEGY) is one of Europe's leading telecommunications and information technology service companies. Deutsche Telekom is also the parent company of T-Mobile USA, one of four national wireless carriers in the U.S., with 33.7 million customers. In Europe, we are Germany?s... More
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