Thu, Feb. 5, 9:54 AM
- BT Group (NYSE:BT) running fast at +6.2% today in the wake of news of its agreement to buy EE for £12.5 billion ($18.98 billion) in cash and stock.
- The combo of the country's biggest fixed-line telecom and biggest mobile operator allows for bundle sales of communications services, and gets BT more than 30M customers (24.5M direct mobile, 834K broadband) not to mention a phalanx of 580 retail stores.
- The UK has been slow to offer customers "quad" bundles of fixed telephony, mobile, broadband and TV -- but it's getting there.
- BT expects the deal will pass regulatory muster and go through by the end of its fiscal 2016.
- Vodafone (NASDAQ:VOD), playing catch-up in the UK broadband market, will still press for heavier regulation of a BT-EE combination that will have significant market share. “The important thing is that the regulator has an eye [on] how the new, large BT continues to grant access to their network,” said Vodafone CEO Vittorio Colao.
Thu, Feb. 5, 4:22 AM
- A steady recovery in Europe helped Vodafone (NASDAQ:VOD) stem the rate of sales decline in its third quarter, as revenue rose 13.5% to £10.88B, beating market forecasts of £10.4B.
- Group service revenue, a key metric based on telecom-services sales, fell 0.4% excluding acquisitions and disposals, and on a constant currency basis. That compares with a 4.8% decline in the same period last year.
- Vodafone also reiterated its fiscal-year guidance of adjusted operating profit of £11.6B-£11.9B.
- VOD +1.2% premarket
Wed, Feb. 4, 9:36 PM
- BT Group (NYSE:BT) has reportedly put the finishing touches on its £12.5B purchase of EE, the UK's largest mobile operator.
- EE's joint-venture partners each get their piece of the deal: Deutsche Telekom (OTCQX:DTEGY) will get a board slot and 12% stake in BT, and Orange SA (NYSE:ORAN) gets more cash and a 4% BT stake.
- The pressure's now on Vodafone (NASDAQ:VOD), who recently abandoned an effort to get BT broken up and now must try a square-one entry into the British broadband market even as competitors are consolidating (Hutchison Whampoa plans a £10.25B buyout of O2).
- Vodafone will likely pursue forcing the now-giant BT/EE to sell spectrum. “Whatever the regulatory approach it is crucially important that all providers must be able to compete effectively with a combined BT-EE," says a Vodafone spokesman.
- Previously: BT Group profits up; pensions weighing on firm (Jan. 30 2015)
Thu, Jan. 29, 6:44 PM
- In an SEC filing, Elephant Talk (NYSEMKT:ETAK) notes the resignation of Floris van den Broek as VP of Mobile Platform Activities, and names two co-presidents to the role: current CTO Martin Zuurbier and Armin Hessler.
- Zuurbier gives up his other role as COO; Hessler joins the firm from Vodafone's (NASDAQ:VOD) data-center unit.
- The moves are effective April 1.
Thu, Jan. 22, 5:20 PM
- The FT reports Telefonica (NYSE:TEF) is "poised to agree a cash deal of more than £10bn ($15B)" to sell British mobile carrier O2 to Hutchison Whampoa, owner of rival carrier Three. A deal could be announced "as early as Friday morning."
- The paper notes the deal would create the U.K.'s largest mobile carrier, claiming 31M+ subs and a 41% market share. EE, which BT is in talks to acquire from Orange (NYSE:ORAN) and Deutsche Telekom (OTCQX:DTEGY), claims a 32% share, and Vodafone (NASDAQ:VOD) a 24% share.
- U.K. telecom regulator is bound to closely scrutinize a sale, given its historical preference for wanting four mobile carriers and Three's history of aggressive pricing.
- Telefonica/Hutchison reportedly are looking to argue BT, which (like Vodafone) is looking to offer quad-play bundles, is "already changing the boundaries of how telecoms should be judged alongside TV and broadband services." The FT states regulators are likely to push for O2/Three to sell some of its spectrum for use by MVNOs such as TalkTalk, Tesco Mobile, and Virgin Media.
- TEF +0.6% AH. An O2 sale would further Telefonica's efforts to lower its huge debt load. The carrier's net debt stood at €41.2B ($46.8B) as of September.
- Previously: Hutchison in talks for O2 mobile network
- Update: Hutchison says it's in "exclusive talks" to buy O2 from Telefonica for over £10B. Telefonica has confirmed.
Mon, Jan. 19, 4:03 AM
- Deutsche Telekom (OTCQX:DTEGY) earmarked €23.5B ($27B) in the next five years for its German landline and mobile networks, small cells and the digitalization of infrastructure, CEO Timotheus Hoettges said on Sunday.
- The spending puts pressure on Telefonica (NYSE:TEF) and Vodafone (NASDAQ:VOD), whose CEO Vittorio Colao said in November that he wants to reduce outlays when he completes a £19B ($29B) global network upgrade program dubbed Project Spring next year.
Thu, Jan. 15, 6:51 AM
Mon, Jan. 5, 9:57 AM
- With Greece and oil-related fears once more taking a toll, The Euro Stoxx 50 is down 2.1%, and many continental indices posting ~2% declines. U.S.-traded European tech and telecom names are performing much the same way.
- Tech decliners: NOK -4.2%. ALU -3.3%. SAP -2.9%. STM -2%.
- Telecom decliners: VOD -2.4%. TEF -4%. ORAN -3.6%. TI -2.2%. PT -6%.
Dec. 12, 2014, 2:15 PM
- Less than a year after unloading its 45% Verizon Wireless stake for $130B, Vodafone (VOD -3.1%) says it will re-enter the U.S. mobile market as an MVNO leveraging T-Mobile's (TMUS -0.4%) network. A launch is expected in "late autumn 2015."
- The service will be aimed at the 400 U.S.-based multinationals Vodafone already counts as clients, as well as the 500 foreign multinational clients that "have a strong U.S. presence."
- The choice of T-Mobile as a partner will likely raise some eyebrows among Vodafone clients, given the "Un-carrier" has a much smaller corporate customer base than Verizon and AT&T. T-Mobile's penchant for aggressive pricing might have helped win Vodafone over.
Dec. 5, 2014, 3:25 AM| 1 Comment
Dec. 3, 2014, 1:59 PM
- During a meeting with analysts and investors, Vodafone (VOD -1%) tried to "calm fears" it could push for a merger with Liberty Global (LBTYA -1.1%), Reuters reports after talking with some of those present.
- Analyst Nick Delfas, one of the attendees: "Vodafone is highly rational about M&A and does not need to do anything. We don't think they would look at Sky or TalkTalk either." He adds some of Liberty's assets might not appeal to Vodafone.
- Bloomberg reported last week Vodafone is exploring a merger with Liberty, as it pushes ahead with its efforts to offer triple and quad-play packages to consumers in the U.K. and other European markets.
Dec. 1, 2014, 1:17 PM
- The Telegraph reports Vodafone (VOD -2.4%) is looking to buy U.K. retailer Tesco's Blinkbox VOD streaming service. A source states a deal is close, and that Vodafone isn't expected to pay much for the business.
- Blinkbox, which charges a per-rental fee, has faced competition from both rival VOD services and Netflix/Amazon's subscription streaming offerings. It lost £18.5M during its most recent fiscal year.
- Blinkbox would strengthen Vodafone's nascent U.K. pay-TV and wireline broadband efforts. The Telegraph's report follows one from Bloomberg stating Vodafone is exploring a merger with cable giant Liberty Global. Liberty respectively claims 3.7M and 4.5M U.K. TV and broadband subs through its Virgin Media unit.
Nov. 28, 2014, 1:49 PM
- Sources tell Bloomberg Vodafone (NASDAQ:VOD) is "holding internal deliberations and analyzing the financial and regulatory hurdles as well as investor support for a share-based transaction" with Liberty Global (NASDAQ:LBTYA).
- However, they add no formal talks with Liberty are currently underway, and that "valuation and regulatory issues remain key obstacles."
- Liberty has a ~$38B market cap, and $40.1B in net debt. Vodafone is worth $95.1B, and has $34B in net debt. Vodafone closed up 2.5% (with the help of a UBS upgrade), and Liberty closed up 7.4%.
- Prior coverage
Nov. 28, 2014, 1:07 PM
- Bloomberg reports Vodafone (VOD +2.6%) is exploring a "combination" with European cable giant Liberty Global (LBTYA +7.4%). Liberty has soared on the news.
- Liberty operates in 14 countries (12 in Europe), passes 52M homes, and claims 27M customers and trailing annual revenue of $20B. Vodafone has already acquired Spanish and German cable giants ONO and Kabel Deutschland, and has declared it wants to offer mobile/wireline bundles throughout Europe.
- Earlier: UBS upgrades Vodafone
Nov. 28, 2014, 10:02 AM
- UBS has named Vodafone (NASDAQ:VOD) a Key Call Buy, and predicts the carrier will benefit from mobile data growth and improving German, Spanish, and Italian sales.
- Also: Consolidation in the U.K. mobile market now appears likely, with both BT and 3 U.K. owner Hutchison Whampoa expressing interest in buying either Telefonica's O2 or Orange/Deutsche Telekom's EE. Vodafone recently committed to offering bundles featuring mobile, wireline voice, broadband, and TV services to U.K. customers, as BT and EE make their own moves to offer the same.
Nov. 11, 2014, 6:06 PM
- Looking to keep U.K. mobile customers from signing up for BT and EE's triple-play packages, Vodafone (NASDAQ:VOD) will launch wireline broadband and pay-TV services in its home market, CEO Vittorio Colao disclosed on today's FQ2 CC.
- Vodafone already offers triple-play packages in many European markets - it's in the midst of digesting cable providers ONO and Kabel Deutschland - and has set a goal of offering them across the continent through a mixture of internal investments, acquisitions, and partnerships. The U.K. effort will be enabled by the Cable & Wireless acquisition, as well as BT's infrastructure.
- Shares finished up 5.4% today in response to Vodafone's FQ2 revenue beat and FY15 EBITDA guidance hike. Over the first half of FY15, Vodafone's U.K. and total European service revenue has respectively fallen 3.1% and 6.5% Y/Y on an organic basis. European mobile service revenue fell 7.3%, and wireline service revenue 2.5%.
VOD vs. ETF Alternatives
Vodafone Group PLC is engaged in providing voice and data communications services for all types of customers. The Company has presence in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, the Asia Pacific region and the United States.
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