UK media and telecoms correspondent
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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.

Apr 30, 2013

Unilever offers $5.4 billion to raise HUL stake; stock soars

MUMBAI/LONDON (Reuters) – Unilever plans to pay up to $5.4 billion to raise its stake in its Indian subsidiary, making its biggest deal in 13 years a huge bet on the strength of demand for personal care and food products in Asia’s third-largest economy.

The Anglo-Dutch giant said it planned to lift its share in Hindustan Unilever(HLL.NS: Quote, Profile, Research), India’s largest consumer goods maker, known for its Dove and Lipton brands, to as much as 75 percent from 52 at present.

Apr 30, 2013

Unilever places $5 bln bet on Indian growth

MUMBAI/LONDON, April 30 (Reuters) – Unilever
plans to pay up to $5.4 billion to raise its stake in
its Indian subsidiary, making its biggest deal in 13 years a
huge bet on the strength of demand for personal care and food
products in Asia’s third-largest economy.

The Anglo-Dutch giant said it planned to lift its share in
Hindustan Unilever, India’s largest consumer goods
maker, known for its Dove and Lipton brands, to as much as 75
percent from 52 at present.

Apr 25, 2013

Verizon eyes roughly $100 bln bid for Vodafone’s wireless stake

NEW YORK/LONDON, April 25 (Reuters) – Verizon Communications
Inc has hired advisers to prepare a possible $100 billion
bid to take full control of Verizon Wireless from its partner
Vodafone Group Plc, two people familiar with the matter
said.

Verizon is contemplating a roughly 50:50 cash and stock bid
for the 45 percent stake in Verizon Wireless it does not already
own, an asset it has long coveted, the sources said. It has not
put a proposal to Vodafone yet but has hired banking and legal
advisers for a possible offer, the sources said late Wednesday.

Apr 25, 2013

Exclusive: Verizon eyes $100 billion bid for Vodafone’s Wireless stake

NEW YORK/LONDON (Reuters) – Verizon Communications has hired advisers to prepare a possible $100 billion bid to take full control of Verizon Wireless from its partner Vodafone, two people familiar with the matter said.

The two sources said Verizon was considering a 50:50 cash and stock bid for the 45 percent stake it does not already own, an asset it has long coveted but that Vodafone will take some persuading to give up. It has not put a proposal to Vodafone yet but has hired both banking and legal advisers for a possible offer, the sources said.

Apr 25, 2013

Verizon eyes $100 bln bid for Vodafone’s Wireless stake

NEW YORK/LONDON, April 25 (Reuters) – Verizon Communications
has hired advisers to prepare a possible $100 billion bid
to take full control of Verizon Wireless from its partner
Vodafone, two people familiar with the matter said.

The two sources said Verizon was considering a 50:50 cash
and stock bid for the 45 percent stake it does not already own,
an asset it has long coveted but that Vodafone will take some
persuading to give up. It has not put a proposal to Vodafone yet
but has hired both banking and legal advisers for a possible
offer, the sources said.

Apr 23, 2013

Publicis to consider cash return by year end

LONDON (Reuters) – Advertising group Publicis could return cash to shareholders this year via a share buyback or special dividend by sticking to a plan of only making small acquisitions, its chief executive said.

Speaking to Reuters during an investor event eight days after a trading update rattled the market, Maurice Levy said he was confident shareholders would keep faith in the French group’s ability to improve as the year goes on.

    • 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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