Displaying items by tag: Negotiations

Can Apple remain unscathed in US-China trade war ?

Written on Thursday, 30 May 2019 12:21

US technology behemoth Apple could be one of the main targets for China as they look to retaliate and respond to the US campaign against Huawei by Washington.

Published in Government

Following months of speculation it is now being reported in the United States that President Donald Trump will sign an executive order that will ban US companies from using telecommunications equipment made by Huawei.

Published in Telecom Vendors

The CFO at Chinese telecommunications behemoth Huawei has been arrested and detained in Canada, in a move that has been met with vehement criticism amongst authorities in Beijing, who have called for her immediate release.

Published in Telecom Vendors

Saudi Arabia’s telecommunications incumbent Saudi Telecom Company (STC) has emerged as the frontrunner to acquire a 55% stake in Turk Telecom - in a deal reportedly worth around $3.9 billion. Oger Telecom is the majority shareholder in Turk Telecom, but it is currently in dire straits financially - and is willingly to sell off its stake in the Turkish operator.

Sources close to both STC and Oger Telecom have claimed negotiations between the two organizations is on-going, but noted that Turkey’s government may be forced to step in if a deal between both parties is not agreed. Turk Telecom was formerly state-owned before it was privatized in 2005.

It has been reported that creditors are increasing their pressure on Oger Telecom to sell in an effort to stem its financial crisis, which has resulted in the company missing two instalments in the repayment of a $4.75 billion loan it secured in when refinancing its existing debt.

In January, it emerged that STC was mulling offer a potential move to take a direct stake in Oger Telecom who had blamed their disastrous financial performance on the strength of the Turksih Lira, which lowered dividends the company received from its stake in the Turkish telecommunications firm.

While it has been suggested there are a string of companies interested in the 55% stake, only STC entered into negotiations with a’ clear interest’ in making the acquisition. Industry commentators have suggested that if a deal between STC and Oger Telecom can’t be finalized then Turkey’s government may use a public institution to acquire the stake. 

A source close to the Turkish government stressed the importance of Turk Telecom as a company and declared that a public institution would come to the rescue if needed, the source said, “Turk Telekom is a strategic and important company. It will not be left to its fate for sure. Public institutions would intervene when needed and this option is still a matter of consideration.”

When contacted both STC and Oger Telecom declined to comment on the speculation regarding the alleged negotiations. Oger’s parent company is owned by Saudi Arabian construction colossus Saudi Oger, which also is facing a multibillion-dollar debt restructuring. Oger Telecom’s creditors have expressed that they would like to see the deal completed by September.

Turkey’s treasury sent a direct letter to Oger earlier this year after it failed to meet the two debt payments. In July the government asked some banks to find prospective buyers for the stake.

Published in Telecom Operators

India’s second largest telecom operator has been forced to restructure its management team following the departures of a number of key executives from the organization. Some industry analysts have suggested the emergence and impact of 4G start-up Reliance Jio was the main reason behind the restructuring process.

The former CEO of Vodafone Czech Republic, Balesh Sharma has been appointed COO of Vodafone India’s commercial and enterprise units, replacing Naveen Chopra who held this position for a period of two years. He will remain with the company and is expected to be named in a new role soon.

Representatives of Vodafone India have played down the significance of the restructuring – and dismissed suggestions that the reshuffle was a reactive measure taken due to rival Reliance Jio extending its free voice and data offers.

A spokesman for Vodafone India stated it was ‘business as usual’ and the purpose of the restructuring was in order to make decisions faster and integrate its commercial strategy with operational teams in a much more effective manner.

Other high-profile changes within the company will see Head of M-Pesa, Suresh Sethi – the figure behind its payment bank initiative is expected to depart soon– while the telecom operator named Rahul Bhagat as an adviser. Ravi Santhanam, who was in charge of customer value management, a role that reported to the CMO, resigned.

The entry of Reliance Jio to the market in India has forced the country’s top three mobile players, Bharit Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Celluar to follow Jio’s lead with generous free voice and data offers, which subsequently sparked a price war in the region.

Reports emerged last week that Vodafone Group had entered merger negotiations with its rival Idea in a bid to fend off and combat the increased competition in the hugely competitive market.

Vodafone CEO Vittorio Colao said a plan to merge its Indian business with Idea is not a sign the company is exiting the market or backing away from a fight with Jio.

However, Vodafone India isn’t the only player looking to gain scale via a merger. It has been reported that Telenor India has expressed its interest in exploring a merger through a share swap with Aircel and Reliance Communications, which are themselves trying to merge to create the country’s third largest operator.

Published in Telecom Operators

Vodafone confirmed that it has entered into merger negotiations with Idea Cellular in a move that could result in the creation of the largest telecoms company in India. The announcement has ended months of speculation in relation to the two operators entering a partnership agreement in an effort to fend off Reliance Jio.

Its emergence into the market has had a significant impact in what is already a saturated and ultra-competitive mobile network market. The confirmation of the negotiations has a huge impact on trading with idea shares, rocketing by a whopping 26% on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).

Vodafone India issued a statement and declared that there is no certainty any agreement will be reached between the two operators, but conceded if it did, that it would result in the de-consolidating of Vodafone India.

The statement said: “Vodafone confirms that it is in discussions with the Aditya Birla Group about an all share merger of Vodafone India (excluding Vodafone's 42% stake in Indus Towers) and Idea. Any merger would be affected through the issue of new shares in Idea to Vodafone and would result in Vodafone de-consolidating Vodafone India. There is no certainty that any transaction will be agreed, nor as to the terms or timing of any transaction.

Some analysts have suggested that a merger between Vodafone India and the Mumbai-based Idea Cellular would effectively turn India lucrative multi-billion dollar telecommunications market on its head.  The group of analysts has estimated that the pair would command a combined revenue market share of 43 percent, ahead of rival Bharti Airtel, which would hold 33 percent.

Reliance Jio, has enjoyed great success since its inception last year – and the company is owned by India’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani who would have 13% according to some analysts who have carried out research into the proposed merger.

In September, the 4G Jio network launched an audacious free service for the remainder of the year. In addition to this it offered customers considerably cheaper data plans and free voice calls for life. That forced the hand of its rivals – and they responded by dramatically reducing their tariffs. It forced them to dig deep to compete with Jio who is heavily financed by India’s wealthy energy-to-chemicals conglomerate Reliance Industries.

Published in Telecom Operators