What’s up with… Mobileye, Vodafone, Atos

  • Intel unit Mobileye files for an IPO
  • Vodafone makes M&A progress in Portugal
  • Atos spurns takeover bid for digital services unit

In today’s industry news roundup: Mobileye is heading for a public listing; Vodafone strikes strategic takeover deal in Portugal; French IT services giant Atos fends off a takeover offer for its digital and security services unit: and more.  

Intel’s self-driving vehicle technology unit Mobileye has filed for an IPO in a move that could value the company at about $30bn: Intel acquired the system-on-chip (SoC) developer for $15.3bn in 2017. The move to list Mobileye, which generated revenues of $1.4bn in 2021, would allow Intel to retain a majority ownership of the company. According to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing about the planned IPO, Mobileye has its technology installed in approximately 800 vehicle models while its SoCs have been deployed in more than 117 million vehicles. 

Vodafone is grabbing the headlines today courtesy of its UK merger talks with Three UK, but it is also busy beefing up its presence in another of the European markets that its management has previously identified as a “consolidation priority”. Vodafone Portugal, the country’s second-largest operator, is to acquire Portugal’s fourth-largest service provider, cable network operator Nowo Communications (formerly Cabovisao), from Másmóvil, the Spanish operator that is in the process of being acquired by Orange. Financial terms were not disclosed. Vodafone Portugal says the deal, which is expected to be completed during the first half of 2023, will add about 250,000 mobile and 140,000 fixed access accounts (pay TV and broadband) to its customer base, which already boasts 4.7 million mobile and 890,000 fixed broadband customers (as of June 2022). Nowo doesn’t have its own mobile network but is a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) that offers its services over the infrastructure of Portugal’s market leader, Meo, so once the deal is completed the migration of those customers to the Vodafone Portugal network will no doubt begin quite quickly. Market leader Meo, which is part of the Altice Europe group, boasts just over 6.5 million mobile customers and 1.65 million fixed broadband customers (of which nearly 1.3 million are connected to fibre lines). News of the Nowo deal comes only weeks after Vodafone announced the planned sale of its operation in Hungary, so there are definitely signs of M&A movement within the Vodafone ranks – though nothing yet that would likely be described as dramatic by investors – including the latest big name to take a stake in the operator, French billionaire and owner of Iliad Xavier Niel.     

ICT services giant Atos has turned down a €4.2bn bid for Evidian, the digital services, big data and security solutions unit that, the company announced in June, might be spun out as a separately listed company. Atos said it received the bid from Onepoint and UK private equity fund ICG on 27 September, but decided not to engage in talks with the bidders as the board of directors decided it was not in the best interests of the company. If Atos does spin out Evidian, it would be left with its Tech Foundations business line, which is focused on designing, building and managing IT and networking systems: That unit recently announced a partnership with Working Group Two – the mobile technology joint venture formed by Telenor, Cisco and Digital Alpha – to develop what it calls “core network-as-a-service” based on “WGTWO’s 4/5G cloud-native mobile core and on Atos’s full Next Generation Telecom Network portfolio, including cloud computing, edge and Open RAN technologies.”

United Internet, the parent company of Germany’s 5G newcomer 1&1, has lowered its capital expenditure forecast for 2022 by about €200m to €700m, mainly due to “lower investments at 1&1 and 1&1 Versatel of around €200m, which were originally planned for 2022 but [will] now be invested in 2023. This shift in investments to 2023 is primarily the result of unexpected delays in the provision of antenna sites due to supply shortage at one of 1&1's rollout partners which, however, do not affect 1&1's long-term plans for the network rollout.” The new operator is building out a greenfield 5G network across Germany and announced two weeks ago that its target for having 1,000 antenna sites in place by the end of the year would be missed, and delayed by six months, due to one of its three network rollout partners failing to deliver. The rollout partner that is falling short was subsequently identified as Vantage Towers

- The staff, TelecomTV

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