Thursday, February 24, 2011

Golden Gate Capital Signs Acquisition Deal with Conexant

Gold Holdings, Inc., an affiliate of Golden Gate Capital, has signed a definitive merger agreement with Conexant Systems. Gold Holdings will purchase all of the outstanding shares of Conexant common stock at a price of $2.40 per share in cash. The transaction is expected to close in Q2 2011.

Golden Gate Capital manages more than $9 billion in capital and has completed over 13 going-private transactions in the technology sector since its inception in 2000. The firm is based in San Francisco.

Deutsche Telekom's 2010 Revenue Increases 0.4%

Deutsche Telekom's net revenue for 2010 increased by 0.4 percent to EUR 62.4 billion excluding the UK. The company turned an adjusted net profit of EUR 3.4 billion, on a par with the 2009 figure. Unadjusted for special factors, net profit stood at EUR 1.7 billion, a substantial increase from EUR 0.4 billion in the previous year. Adjusted EBITDA was EUR 19.5 billion in the financial year just ended, matching the forecast made at the start of 2010 (excluding the deconsolidated T-Mobile UK that accounted for around EUR 0.5 billion). At EUR 6.5 billion, free cash flow was considerably higher than the EUR 6.2 billion originally expected.

Deutsche Telekom asserted that business in its home market of Germany was strong, with mobile Internet, smartphones, broadband lines and IPTV as the growth drivers.

Some highlights:

Cash capex totaled EUR 8.6 billion, around 7 percent less than in 2009.

Deutsche Telekom also invested an additional EUR 1.3 billion in new spectrum acquired in the frequency auction in Germany.

In Germany, Total revenue from the German mobile communications business was almost 2 percent up year-on-year at EUR 2.1 billion in the fourth quarter. Service revenues increased to an even larger extent, by 3.4 percent. Excluding the effects from the reduction in termination charges, service revenues increased by around 5 percent. The share of smartphones sold rose sharply, accounting for 50 percent of all terminal devices sold in the fourth quarter. This is more than 20 percentage points higher than in the prior-year quarter. The fastest-growing group by some margin was devices with the Android operating system.

At EUR 25.1 billion, total revenue from the German business was just slightly down on the prior year by 1.1 percent. However, in the fourth quarter of 2010, total revenue increased by 0.6 percent to EUR 6.4 billion. For the full year 2010, adjusted EBITDA remained stable at the prior-year level and amounted to EUR 9.6 billion.

Revenue in the fixed-network segment decreased by just 0.7 percent year-on-year in the fourth quarter of 2010 compared with around 3 to 6 percent in the preceding quarters.

In Greece, the economic downturn continued in the financial year under review, which also affected OTE's business, with double-digit percentage declines in revenue and earnings in the fourth quarter.

The number of broadband customers in the Europe segment increased by 12 percent in 2010 to a total of 4.6 million. The number of users of IPTV rose by more than 50 percent to 654,000. In mobile communications, the proportion of new contracts with smartphones doubled to more than 30 percent in the fourth quarter.

T-Mobile USA served 33.73 million customers (as defined in Note 3 to the Selected Data, below) at the end of the fourth quarter of 2010, down from 33.76 million at the end of the third quarter of 2010 and 33.79 million at the end of the fourth quarter of 2009. In the fourth quarter of 2010, net customer losses were 23,000, compared to net additions of 137,000 in the third quarter of 2010 and 371,000 in the fourth quarter of 2009. Contract customers were the primary driver for the sequential and year-on-year change in net customers. Contract churn was 2.5% in the fourth quarter of 2010, up from 2.4% in the third quarter of 2010 and consistent with the fourth quarter of 2009.

T-Systems saw continued revenue growth and a clear improvement in earnings in the fourth quarter. Total revenue increased by 3.8 percent year-on-year, 9 percent of which was driven by international business. Revenue generated outside the Group climbed by almost 6 percent, primarily due to increased demand for cloud services and growth in the systems integration business. Total revenue increased by 2.9 percent year-on-year to EUR 9.1 billion in 2010.

KDDI Debuts First WiMAX Phone in Japan

KDDI and Okinawa Cellular Telephone announced the "htc EVO WiMAX ISW11HT" -- the first WiMAX compatible Android smartphone for Japan.

KDDI said the handset allows up to 40Mbps data downlink speed. It also has "Wi-Fi tethering" function to serve as a wireless LAN router. Up to eight wireless LAN compatible devices such as portable game players and note PCs can be connected to the Internet. With Android 2.2, it offers comfortable maneuvering and viewing of Flash web pages.

KDDI offers server pricing plans, including a packet flat rate plan. "+WiMAX" monthly usage fee of 525 yen (including tax) is charged in the month where customer used WiMAX.

China Mobile Adds 5.2 Million in January 2011

China Mobile continues its rapid growth with addition of 5,263,000 users in January 2011, bringing its total customer base to 589,280,000. This compares to 5,115,000 additions in January 2010 and 4,378,000 in December 2010.

Telefónica's Grows 7% in 2010, Reaches 288 Million

Telefónica's global revenues grew 7.1% in 2010 to 60,737 million euros (+9.9% in 4Q), driven by Latin America (+13.3%) and Europe (+12.7%) and the growing contribution of its mobile data business (close to 9,300 million euros, +19.3% year-on-year organic growth). The number of access lines (mobile and fixed) also grew by 7.2% and the company now has 287.6 million accesses worldwide. In 2010, the Company registered organic net adds of 19.2 million accesses. In Spain, despite the fierce competitive environment, net adds in the last year were six times the gains registered in 2009 in comparable terms.

The company credits its regional diversification: Telefónica Latinoamérica and Telefónica Europe (not including its home market of Spain) represent 68% of the Group's consolidated revenue and generate over 60% of consolidated OIBDA.

Some additional highlights:

Telefónica now has 22.2 million mobile broadband clients (+63.9%), and 17.1 million retail fixed broadband internet accesses (+27%). In addition, as a result of the Group's bundling strategy, 89% of the retail fixed broadband accesses in Spain, and 86% of broadband accesses in Latin America form part of a duo or trio package.

Mobile accesses at the Telefónica Group stood at 220.2 million at the end of 2010, a year-on-year growth of 8.9% (both in organic and reported terms). Organic net additions reached 18.2 million in 2010 (1.3 times those recorded in 2009). The focus on high-value customers has been reflected in a significant increase in contract net additions compared to 2009: 53% of organic net additions corresponded to this segment, compared to 38% in 2009. This has left a total of 69.0 million contract customers (+15.9% year-on-year in organic terms), which represents over 31% of the Group's total mobile accesses (+3 percentage points year-on-year organic).

The strong adoption of mobile broadband services, together with the launch of new and more segmented price schemes has allowed the Group to increase its number of mobile broadband accesses to more than 22.2 million by the end of 2010 (+63.9% year-on-year). This represents a penetration over the total mobile access base of 10.1%, 3.4 percentage points higher than at December 2009.

Retail fixed broadband accesses reached a total of 17.1 million (+27.0% year-on-year in reported terms, +10.9% organic). Net additions picked up in the fourth quarter to reach 422 thousand accesses. In 2010, net additions stood at 3.6 million accesses (1.5 million in organic terms). Brazil was once again the driver of the Group's growth in this type of access, with Telesp registering 681 thousand net additions, a record-high figure in the Company's history.

Bundled voice, broadband, and television services remain key to Group strategy and especially to churn control. In Spain, 89% of retail fixed broadband accesses are bundled as part of either a dual or triple play offer, while in Latin America the figure stands at 86%.

The number of pay-TV accesses stood at 2.8 million in 2010, an 8.9% increase in organic terms on December 2009 (+12.0% reported). Fixed telephony accesses totaled 41.4 million, down 2.7% year-on-year in organic terms, although the rate of decrease was slower in the fourth quarter than in previous periods. In reported terms, the number of accesses rose 1.8%.

The average number of employees in 2010 was 269,047 (13,896 employees more than at December 2009), mainly due to the larger workforce at Atento. Excluding Atento, Telefónica Group's average workforce rose 2% year-on-year to 128,012.

At the close of 2010, OIBDA stood at 25,777 million euros, with year-on-year growth of 14% and an OIBDA margin of 42.4%. Operating cash flow stood at 14,933 million euros for the year.

Telefónica invested over 10,800 million euros in 2010, including the spectrum and license acquisitions carried out in Germany and Mexico. In Spain, despite the difficult economic climate, the company increased its investment by 8.4% to 2,021 million euros, consolidating its solid leadership position in the market and its commitment to the country.

FBI Tracks Growing Internet Crime Wave

In 2010,

the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) received the second-highest number of complaints since its inception in 2000 and also marked a major milestone in receiving its its two-millionth complaint. On average,
IC3 receives and processes 25,000 complaints per month.

The most common victim complaints in 2010 were non-delivery of payment/merchandise,
scams impersonating the FBI (hereafter "FBI-related scams") and identity theft. Victims of these
crimes reported losing hundreds of millions of dollars. Of the 303,809 complaints received in 2010, IC3 referred 121,710 to law enforcement.

IC3 serves as a conduit for law enforcement to share information and pursue cases that often span jurisdictional boundaries. The 2010 report has just been posted online.