Monday, April 10, 2006

Weather Investments: another driver of consolidation

Today in the Financial Times, Naguib Sawiris of Weather Investments (Wind, Orascom, Hutchison Telecom) explains his acquisition strategy. It should take shape 1-3 years after his planned IPO of Weather and it focuses on France, Spain, Greece, Portugal and the Netherlands.

I'm not sure what these markets have in common, but it could be either scope for consolidation or, quite to the contrary, scope for broadband growth.

So now we have these consolidators:
  • The large PTTs: DT, FT, Telefonica, and possibly TI.
  • Venture capitalists and private equity groups, that have amassed a big portfolio of assets (Apax, Carlyle, Providence).
  • Other pan-European groups: Liberty Global (UPC), Tele2 and maybe Vodafone (new strategy: convergence).
  • And Weather?

Remains the question: what is Apax' (and the others') exit strategy? Will they IPO a large, pan-European converged telco at some point in the future?

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