Li Ka-shing brings funding finesse to telco M&A

March 18, 2016

The tycoon may sell 20 pct of his UK mobile unit to outsiders. That could raise 1 bln pounds to help buy Telefonica’s O2, on top of the 3.1 bln pounds sovereign funds are already chipping in. That would let Li complete the 9 bln pound deal with no fresh investment.

AT&T puts shareholders on hold for DirecTV

May 19, 2014

Its $67 bln offer to buy the satellite TV operator comes with an unexpectedly robust $1.6 bln of cost savings. Even so, these don’t quite cover the 30 pct premium AT&T is paying and will be spent on rural broadband service anyway. Customers and regulators get the first call.

China’s telco suppliers can’t escape spying row

October 8, 2012

American lawmakers warn that Huawei and ZTE pose a threat to U.S. national security because they are too close to the Chinese state. Such accusations are almost impossible for the targets to contradict. Unless relations improve, the playing field will remain tilted against them.

MetroPCS owners can forget a standalone option

April 2, 2013

Dissident investors John Paulson and Peter Schoenfeld persuaded two proxy services that T-Mobile USA is buying its rival on the cheap and that independence is a better option. The agitating may bring a sweeter bid. But MetroPCS is unlikely to prosper or exist for long on its own.

Standalone Vodafone starts to look healthier

February 6, 2014

Quarterly results suggest revenue declines are finally moderating. Competition, regulation, technological change and the slump have all hurt the mobile giant. It now hopes to ride a boom in mobile data. Yet Vodafone’s role in future M&A remains the top question for investors.