Sunday, July 11, 2021

Week 27 in Telecoms, Internet, Media


  • Telefonica: Rumor: to sell minority stake in Telefonica Tech to raise EUR 500m (valuation EUR 1b), Apax interested
  • BT: Agreement with CWU over redundancies over 3 yr, focus on natural attrition (~10k employees/yr)
  • Telenor: Sells Telenor Myanmar to M1 Group, $105m = NOK 900m o/w $55m earn-out over 5 yr based on EV $600m
  • Swisscom: Order from Radicant (= Basellandschaftliche Kantonalbank; digital bank) to develop sustainable cloud-based bank (bank tech from Finnova)
  • Vodafone: Vodafone Idea (Vi) plans to sell fixed BB unit & datacenters to raise $1b, candidates: TPG Capital, Apollo Global, Carlyle
  • Polsat: Expands Netia stake to 97.82%
  • AT&T: Sells minority stake in San Antonio Spurs (NBA team): 20% to Sixth Street, 10% to Dell at $1.8b valuation
  • Bunq: Raises EUR 193m = $228m from Pollen Street Capital (EUR 168m) and Ali Niknam (EUR 25m) et al at $1.9b valuation; acquires Capitalflow Group (Irish lending company)


  • KPN: Plans quantum-secure network in NL and into DE, BE, FR over existing fiber (with QuTech, Delft Univ, Quantum Delta NL), prevents wiretapping
  • Vodafone: Rumor: Vodafone ES (7.5m HFC lines) considers agreements with Onivia and Telefonica for access to open FTTP networks
  • DT: Telekom DE launched fibre-optic factory system to automate FTTH route planning
  • DT: Partners with Shell: to install 10k EV chargers in DE; T-Mobile US to be supplied with renewable energy


  • Facebook: Partners with AWS to host Magma (open mobile platform: core for 4G/5G); Terregraph (60 GHz tech) reaches 20k installed base (hardware products) at >100 service providers & systems integrators; partners with Liquid Intelligent Technologies to roll out long-haul fiber in Congo, and with Nayatel in Pakistan, and with Alita Praya Mitra in Indonesia; Express WiFi platform reaches >30 countries
  • 5G
  • LEO


  • NENT Group: wins Premier League rights in NL, PL, Baltics for Viaplay; 6 seasons until 2027/28, 380 matches/season    
  • Telenet: Extends Premier League content deal by 3 seasons until 2024/25
  • Vivendi: Canal+ FR extends Premier League content deal by 3 seasons
  • Liberty Media: Moody's raises outlook for Alpha Topco Limited (Formula One) to stable (B2) on resilient performance during the coronavirus pandemic (17 races vs 21 planned), new contracts & existing contract renewals, leverage to below 6.5x over the next 12-18 months; Moody's expects full recovery of EBITDA by 2022, adjusted leverage reducing to ~6x in 2022
  • Channel 4: UK Gvt starts strategic review; rumored interested parties: ViacomCBS, Discovery, Amazon, Netflix, Sky (Comcast), Virgin Media (Liberty Global, Telefonica), BT, BBC, ITV (TV ad market share to grow from 45 to 65%, Video ad market share to grow to <30%)
  • NPO, RTL NL, Talpa Netwerk, DPG Media NL, Mediahuis NL propose (in letter to new government advisor) level playing field for internet majors, more options for cooperation
  • Universal Filmed Entertainment Group (UFEG) withdraws pay-one window for films from HBO from 2022, to move to Peacock for stgreaming 4 mo after theatrical release - Licenses pay-one window (4 mo after theatrical window) live-action movies to Amazon Prime Video (from 2022, plus selected library titles plus SVOD for theatrical animated films) & IMDb TV (network-window from 2021/22 plus selected animated titles), exclusive
  • Walt Disney: Day-and-date release of Black Widow (Scralett Johansson) brings in >$60m on Disney+ (Premier Access, PVOD for $30) + $78m (or $87m) from 4160 theater screens US in opening 3-day weekend
  • Maroc Telecom orders solution from Molotov for streaming service MT TV (live linear, catch-up, on-demand), 3 tiers (Access, Prestige, Evasion)


  • Free launches Free Flex: mobile plan + smartphone (price spread over 24 mo at no extra cost) leasing with purchase option (no extra cost), covers latest (high-end and low-end) & refurbished smartphones (Apple, Samsung, Xiaomi, OPPO)
  • Telekom DE (DT) launches CompanyFlex Cloud PBX 2.0 for flexible, location-independent working, incl conference systems from Cisco Webex, Conference Plus/Premium (personal conference room), portal for administration; from 3 EUR/workstation/mo (+ CompanyFlex tariff), Conference Plus 8 EUR/user/mo (max 100 participants), Conference Premium 18 EUR/luser/mo (max 1000 participants)


  • ACM (NL) plans access market analysis decision (based on prices, annual price increases, KPN Wholesale offerings (some changes after WFA removal), whcih may lead to rising prices) to decide on need to regulate the fixed-line market; plans preliminary decision autumn 2021, with consultation, after which to decide on regulation
  • GSMA proposes more midband spectrum for mobile: 2 GHz in 3.5 and 4.8 and 6 GHz bands
  • POTUS Biden launches 72 initiatives to boost competition in US economy - Proposes merger scrutiny in tech sector, new rules on data collection & BB access - Signs Executive Order targeting right to repair, ISPs (to report prices & subscription rates, prevent ISPs from making deals with landlords that limit tenants’ options, net neutrality), etc
    • Google: Sued by 37 AGs of 36 US states & DC in antitrust case against Google Play Store (walled garden, fees) - Google counters: more app stores, side-loading is possible
    • Amazon: FTC starts investigation of MGM takeover [see 210622]
    • Apple: Federal Court Australia allows suit by Epic Games (Nov 2020) to continue (monopoly control over iOS users)

Monday, July 05, 2021

Week 26 in Telecoms, Internet, Media


  • Deutsche Telekom: Bloomberg: starts sale process of T-Mobile NL, EUR 4.5b, candidates: Apax Partners, Apollo Global Management, BC Partners, Providence Equity, Warburg Pincus
  • Orange PL Strategy Update 2024 (.Grow): 4 pillars: 1. create value in core business (fiber, convergence); 2. create new solutions for business using the latest technologies (5G); 3. further transform the company thanks to digitisation; 4. responsible management; raises guidance 2021; guidance 2021-24: rev CAGR LSD, EBITDA AL CAGR LSD-MSD, capex/annum PLN 1.7-1.9b, resume div from 2021 (payable 2022), floor PLN 0.25, LT target net debt/EBITDA 1.7-2.2x; focus on core (75%) of rev, 3 main growth engones (convergence, ICT, wholesale), convergence rev growth CAGR minimum 8%, ICT growth CAGR ~10%; targets 8m HP with FTTP by 2024 (currently 5.2m)
  • Telia: Sells 49% of tower business (4700 towers, 2020 rev EUR 88m, EBITDA 56m) in FI & NO to Brookfield Infrastructure Partners (= Brookfield AM) & Alecta; enterprise value 100% EUR 1524m (EV/EBITDA 27x 2020), cash proceeds EUR 722m for debt redux (net debt/EBITDA to 2.1x), to close 21Q4; total towers & rooftops Nordics & Baltics 25k
  • Telstra: Sells 49% of Telstra InfraCo Towers (8200 towers, passive infra only) to Future Fund, Commonwealth Superannuation Corp, Sunsuper at AUD 5.9b valuation, with 15 yr lease-back, cash proceeds after costs AUD 2.8b, to close 21/22Q1, to return 50% of proceeds to shareholders (div or SBB)
  • Salt: Reuters: plans IPO autumn 2021, valuation CHF 2.5b (incl debt), to raise CHF 700m from new shares
  • OneWeb raises $500m from Bharti Global, raises stake to 38.6% (UK gvt, Eutelsat, SoftBank 19.3% each)
  • RTL
    • Sells RTL BE (3 free TV channels in Wallonia: RTL-TVI (family, general interest), Club RTL (children, sports, classic movies & series), Plug RTL (fiction, young culture, reality TV); 3 radio stations: Bel RTL (talk, general interest), Radio Contact (music), digital station Mint (pop rock music); streaming service RTL Play; news website to DPG Media (50%; VTM, Het laatste nieuws) and Groupe Rossel (50%; Le Soir), EUR 250m, to close 21Q4
    • Fremantle acquires Unscripted Business (12 companies in SE, NO, DK, FI) from NENT Group




    • Court NL in case Inmarsat vs Min EZK: orders changes to spectrum plan for interruption of Inmarsat's Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS, maritime distress signals) network, operating in 3.5 GHz band from Burum (Inmarsat plans move to Greece from 2024)