UK media and telecoms correspondent
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May 21, 2013

Vodafone keeps Verizon payout after European weakness

LONDON, May 21 (Reuters) – Vodafone posted the
largest ever fall in its main revenue measure on Tuesday,
forcing it to keep a dividend from its healthy U.S. arm to
compensate for a slump in southern Europe.

The world’s second largest mobile operator, at the centre of
intense speculation as to whether it will sell its stake in U.S.
business Verizon Wireless in one of the world’s largest deals,
said it had also been hit hard by regulatory cuts and the timing
of last year’s leap year.

May 17, 2013

All eyes on Vodafone’s Colao for signs on Verizon

LONDON (Reuters) – After months of speculation, Vodafone’s (VOD.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) Vittorio Colao will be under pressure next week to set out whether he may sell its prized stake in Verizon Wireless in what would be one of the biggest deals ever.

Chief executive for five years, Colao has said only that he has an “open mind” on Vodafone’s 45-percent stake in the U.S. operator, whose majority owner, Verizon Communications (VZ.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), is interested in buying out the British company’s share.

May 16, 2013

Vodafone to offer German pay-TV after Deutsche deal

LONDON, May 16 (Reuters) – Vodafone will be able to
offer pay-TV over high-speed broadband to its German customers
under a new deal with Deutsche Telekom, broadening
its appeal in the British firm’s most important European market.

The move, reported by Reuters in April, is designed to
prevent customers defecting to superfast cable services and cuts
the need for Vodafone to make acquisitions in its largest
European market, which has recently turned more competitive.

May 14, 2013

Severn Trent confirms Borealis and Kuwait takeover approach

LONDON, May 14 (Reuters) – British water company Severn
Trent confirmed it had received a takeover approach from
a consortium including Borealis Infrastructure and the Kuwait
Investment Office.

The move is the latest example of interest in British water
companies among yield-hungry investors.

May 10, 2013

BT shares hit 5-1/2 yr high after results top forecasts

LONDON, May 10 (Reuters) – Britain’s BT underlined
its return to form ahead of its pending pay-TV battle with BSkyB
, raising its outlook after improvements across the board
helped it beat forecasts and send its shares soaring.

The former state telecoms monopoly, which was brought low in
2008 by a series of profit warnings, posted full-year results
ahead of consensus and showed for the first time it could be
close to returning to overall revenue growth.

May 9, 2013

BT offers free UK football action in challenge to Sky

LONDON (Reuters) – BT turned the British pay-TV market on its head on Thursday by offering free English Premier league football matches to its broadband customers in a direct challenge to Rupert Murdoch’s BSkyB.

The news, released at a high-profile launch for the BT Sport TV channels at the Olympic Park in London, sent shares in BT and its rivals tumbling in a sign of how nervous investors are that the telecom giant could drive aggressive sector restructuring.

May 9, 2013

BT offers free UK soccer action in challenge to Sky

LONDON, May 9 (Reuters) – BT turned the British
pay-TV market on its head on Thursday by offering free English
Premier league soccer matches to its broadband customers in a
direct challenge to Rupert Murdoch’s BSkyB.

The news, released at a high-profile launch for the BT Sport
TV channels at the Olympic Park in London, sent shares in BT and
its rivals tumbling in a sign of how nervous investors are that
the telecom giant could drive aggressive sector restructuring.

May 8, 2013

Ex-Murdoch stalwart Mockridge to run rival Virgin Media

LONDON, May 8 (Reuters) – Tom Mockridge, who worked closely
with Rupert Murdoch in more than 20 years at News Corp,
is to take over at Virgin Media, pitting the two men
against each other in a battle for British pay-TV viewers.

Mockridge will take his in-depth knowledge of the European
media market into the camp of Murdoch’s long-time American rival
John Malone – who is in the process of acquiring Virgin – and
follows the New Zealander’s obvious displeasure at missing out
on a top job at News Corp in New York late last year.

May 8, 2013

CEO King commits to Sainsbury’s after beating forecasts

LONDON (Reuters) – Justin King dismissed rumors he would quit as head of J Sainsbury (SBRY.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), promising to steer Britain’s third-biggest grocer through the challenges of the next few years after another set of forecast-beating results.

Speaking after the group posted its eighth straight rise in annual profit on the back of a 10-year high in market share, King said he saw “a few more years in Sainsbury’s in me yet”.

May 6, 2013

Some Verizon investors OK with paying premium for Vodafone stake

NEW YORK/LONDON (Reuters) – Some shareholders of Verizon Communications Inc say they could be happy for the company to pay up to $130 billion for Vodafone Group Plc’s stake in their U.S. wireless venture.

Reuters reported last week that Verizon had hired advisers to prepare a $100 billion cash-and-stock bid for Vodafone’s 45 percent stake in Verizon Wireless, though several major Vodafone investors have said that figure is inadequate.

    • About Kate

      "I am based in London and cover the UK media and telecoms sectors including BSkyB, Vodafone and WPP. I have previously covered UK general news and sports including major events such as the Olympics and football World Cups."
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