Free Newsletter

Sawiris has eyes on Italian and French deals

Egyptian telecoms magnate offers to back rights issue at Telecom Italia, and is interested in Vivendi's SFR unit

By CAROLINE GABRIEL

Published: 19 November, 2012

READ MORE: M&A | Europe

Egyptian telecoms investor Naguib Sawiris has a long history of shaking up sleepy telecoms markets with well-timed acquisitions. Europe, where he has been a player on the sidelines, is now in his sights amid the eurozone crisis, with Italy and France his rumored targets.

Sawiris - whose Orascom Telecom vehicle previously owned Italian cellco Wind, sold with a broad range of mobile assets to Russia's VimpelCom - wants to obtain a stake in Telecom Italia and has now offered to underwrite a rights issue. This could allow the incumbent telco to reduce its debt and fund acquisition of Brazilian telecoms group GVT. Sources say Sawiris could invest more than €2bn, which would dilute Telefonica's stake. Together with three financial institutions, the Spanish telco owns 22% of its Italian counterpart via a holding firm called Telco SpA.


The main reason for Telecom Italia to accept the deal would be to buy GVT, a move which COO Marco Patuano described as a "quantum jump". Speaking at a Morgan Stanley conference last week, he said: "An asset like this is for sale once every I don't know how many years."

Across the border in France, media conglomerate Vivendi has been considering the sale of its mobile arm SFR, with various candidates rumored including former joint venture partner Vodafone. Now Sawiris may be interested in this operator too, according to the Financial Times. The billionaire told the newspaper that he was looking at SFR in a deal that could be valued at €13bn to €14bn.

However, he admitted the likely price tag was too high for him to fund single-handed and the deal would be carried out through a subsidiary - and many think a joint venture is more likely. Analysts at investment house Jefferies value SFR at €13.7bn, or 4.5 times the cellco's EBITDA in 2013.

Vivendi's CFO Philippe Capron told Reuters: "Everyone is talking to everyone and we have to talk to various parties to look at our options."

Related Stories

Share

  • email story Email
  • print story Print
  • digit digit
  • facebook facebook
  • Twitter Twitter
  • Linked-in Linked-In
  • Comments (0)

COMMENTS

Add Comment
No comments yet. Be the first to add a comment!
MARKET PLACE

    BYOD: Market Analysis and Forecasts

    An in-depth insight into the rise of BYOD policies within the enterprise and analysis of the impact the trend will have on IT departments,...

    Voice Command, Control and Search on Mobile Phones: Market Analysis & Forecasts

    This report provides a comprehensive insight into the growing importance of voice command, control and search on handsets, analysing...

    Data Centre Network Equipment: Market Analysis and Forecasts

    This report provides a global assessment of the data centre network equipment market. Besides assessing the key market trends, sub-markets...

    HetNet Market Summary & Forecasts: Macro Cells, Small Cells & Wi-Fi Offload

    Carriers are struggling to cope with the explosion of data traffic on their networks, and the additional deployment of LTE and legacy...

    Over-the-Top Communications: Threats & Opportunities for Mobile Operators

    This report examines the implications of widespread adoption of mobile over-the-top IP communications for mobile operators, handset...

    Portable Gaming Consoles: Market Analysis and Forecasts

    This report provides a global assessment of the PGC market. In addition to assessing the key market drivers, market barriers, vendor...
WHITE PAPERS

    Satellite Phones: Will Dual Mode Help the Phoenix Rise from the Ashes?

    Satellite phones have followed an arduous path since their much-hyped launch more than a decade ago. The hype was followed by an e...

    Mobile Widget Platform Market Analysis: Understanding the Business Case and ROI

    This white paper presents an analysis of the mobile widget platform market, as well as metrics supporting a mobile carrier?s busin...

POST COMMENT

You must be a registered user to post a comment. or
Username *
Email *
Comment *