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Financial Briefs: India and overseas

March 30, 2012
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Tikona completes acquisition of HCL Infinet (India)

Tikona Digital Networks has completed its 100 per cent acquisition of HCL Infinet, the data services arm of HCL Infosystems, through purchase of equity. The process was initiated in early 2011 and received the appropriate regulatory approvals later in the year. The new entity, Tikona Infinet, combines the network assets, organisational capabilities and customer base of Tikona and HCL Infinet.

Tata Communications plans to raise $2 billion to finance CWW bid

Tata Communications is planning to raise $2 billion through a term loan to finance its potential bid for UK-based Cable and Wireless Worldwide (CWW). The loan will be raised for a period of three to five years. Standard Chartered is likely to be the lead banker for the process. Recently, the company stated that it was considering participating in the bid for CWW. As per UK takeover rules, the company has time till March 29, 2012 to make a formal offer.

RCOM redeems FCCBs worth Rs 58.25 billion

Reliance Communications (RCOM) has redeemed outstanding foreign currency convertible bonds (FCCBs) worth Rs 58.25 billion. The company has made the payment to the London branch of Deutsche Bank AG, the principal agent for the FCCB issue. The FCCBs had been issued in February 2007 and were due for redemption on March 1, 2012.

Kavveri Telecom raises investment limit for FIIs

Kavveri Telecom has increased the investment limit for foreign institutional investors (FIIs) in the company’s paid-up value of convertible debentures from 24 per cent to 35 per cent. The limit was increased following an approval from company members through the postal ballot route. Of the 159 valid forms, 152 were reportedly in favour of increasing the investment limit.

Blackstone and Carlyle Group signs to acquire majority stake in Reliance Infratel

A consortium of private equity firms Blackstone and Carlyle Group has signed a term sheet to buy up to 95 per cent stake in Reliance Infratel, the tower arm of RCOM. The value of the deal is estimated at Rs 150 billion-Rs 200 billion. RCOM expects to use the proceeds obtained from the deal for reducing its net debt.

Nawras signs $149 million funding deal (Oman)

Oman-based operator Omani Qatari Telecommunications Company (Nawras) has signed a funding deal worth $149 million to refinance its debt and provide for future investments. The funding will be provided for five years by a consortium of banks comprising Bank Muscat, DBS Bank, Qatar National Bank (Doha and Muscat) and the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi. Of the total amount, $87 million will be provided in the form of a term loan and the remaining $62 million as a revolving credit facility.

Zain Saudi to refinance its $2.5 billion loan (Saudi Arabia)

Saudi Arabia-based mobile operator Zain Saudi is reportedly in talks with lenders to refinance a $2.5 billion Islamic loan facility which is due for maturity in July 2012. The investors had approved a six-month extension of the loan in January 2012. Zain Saudi received the $2.5 billion Murabaha loan from eight banks in August 2009 to finance its network expansion. The loan was secured in two tranches of $775 million and $1.72 billion.

SingTel to acquire Amobee for $321 million (Singapore)

Singapore Telecommunications (SingTel) is in the process of acquiring California-based mobile advertising company Amobee for $321 million. The deal will be completed by June 2012, and will allow the operator to offer mobile advertising services and increase its presence in the content and mobile applications segments.

OTMT shareholders vote for sale of stake in Mobinil to France Telecom (Egypt)

Shareholders of Orascom Telecom Media and Technology (OTMT) have voted in favour of selling the majority of its stake in Egypt-based Mobinil to France Telecom. The deal follows a non-binding offer made by France Telecom recently. The deal is estimated to be valued at $1 billion. Post the sale, OTMT will hold 5 per cent stake in Mobinil and retain 30 per cent voting rights.

Government to decide on valuation of Djezzy (Algeria)

The Government of Algeria is likely to decide on a valuation for Orascom Telecom Algeria (Djezzy) by end-March 2012. The move follows the government’s agreement with Djezzy shareholder Vimpelcom to buy a 51 per cent stake in the operator. While Vimpelcom had valued its stake in Djezzy at around $7.8 billion, the government is reported to have valued it at between $2 billion and $3 billion.

Dian Swastatika to buy stake in Smartfren Telecom (Indonesia)

Indonesia-based firm PT Dian Swastatika is buying a stake in local telecom operator PT Smartfren Telecom through the purchase of convertible bonds worth $110.7 million. According to the agreement, Dian Swastatika will buy 10 of Smartfren’s bonds from PT Valensia Persada. The bonds were sold on February 20, 2012 and will be converted into equity within five years. Upon conversion, Dian Swastatika will own 15.4 per cent stake in the telecom operator.

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