In today’s EMEA regional roundup: Orange opens its wallet; Canadian fund considers KPN bid; Allot lands European Tier 1 deal; TalkTalk profit warning sends share price south.
Orange (NYSE: FTE) added muscle to its burgeoning cybersecurity business with the takeover of the UK’s SecureData for an undisclosed fee. Generating revenues of 50 million ($57 million) last year, and growing at an annual rate of 20%, SecureData offers a range of security services for customers trying to protect IT assets and includes a consulting business called SensePost, which is highly regarded for its expertise in cyber-criminality and security research. The company, which employs 200 people in the UK and South Africa, will help Orange to expand its capabilities in Europe, said the French operator in a statement. Orange seems to have been attracted to the security specialist partly because of its UK cyber-SOC (security operations center), the acquisition of which leaves Orange with ten cyber-SOCs in total. While details are thin, SecureData seems likely to become a part of Orange Business Services (OBS), the enterprise division of Orange, and will certainly draw on the skills of OBS salesforce and have access to its customer base of roughly 3,000 multinational companies. The move follows the OBS acquisitions last year of Business & Decision, a big data specialist, and Basefarm, a Norwegian data and cloud business. (See Orange Buys 25-Year-Old UK Cybersecurity Provider and Orange Business Services Targets Cloud Leadership as Telco Rivals Flounder.)
Investment firm Brookfield is said to be mulling a bid for Dutch telecom incumbent KPN Telecom NV (NYSE: KPN) according to a Bloomberg story that cites sources close to the matter. The Canadian fund is apparently in talks with two Dutch pension funds — PGGM and AGP Groep — about partnering on a bid for KPN, which had a market capitalization of 10.6 billion ($12.15 billion) on Wednesday, before reports of the potential offer surfaced. Analysts cited by Bloomberg said a deal would provide a boost for the telecom sector and suggest further M&A activity might be on the horizon. KPN competes in the Dutch market against Vodafone and T-Mobile, which in November secured regulatory permission to acquire fourth mobile operator Tele2. (See EC Signs Off Tele2, T-Mobile Merger in Netherlands.)
Israel’s Allot Communications Ltd. (Nasdaq: ALLT) is to supply its NetworkSecure cybersecurity offering to an unnamed Tier 1 European mobile operator that has around 2.5 million subscribers. The network-based software is intended to protect the operator’s customers from the usual online threats and allow parents to easily apply controls to their children’s mobile devices without having to download and install anything on those devices.
Shares in TalkTalk fell nearly 8% Friday morning after the UK broadband provider issued a £15 million ($19.6 million) profit warning in third-quarter earnings statement, Sky News reports. TalkTalk attributed the hit to a combination of the higher cost of bringing in more customers and changes to the timing of when it reports transactions in its accounts, said the report. Full-year 2019 EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) is expected to be the range £245 million ($320 million) to £250 million ($326 million), compared to £197 million ($257 million) in 2018.
The Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute in Berlin has launched its Teriphic research project, the aim of which is to go beyond current 400G standards and develop 800Gbit/s pluggable modules with eight lanes and 1.6Tbit/s mid-board modules with 16 lanes and a reach of at least 2km. Mellanox Technologies Ltd. (Nasdaq: MLNX) and Telecom Italia (TIM) are among those involved in the project.
T-Systems International GmbH , the IT services provider owned by Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT), is trumpeting the success of its “transformation project,” during the course of which it reduced the number of its data centers globally from 89 to 13 while, it claims, increasing its compute and storage capacity by around 25%. Earlier this year T-Systems was forced to deny speculation that it was about to sell its mainframes business to IBM, insisting instead that it IBM would be providing a “share” of its mainframes services under a new partnership. (See Eurobites: Deutsche Telekom Denies T-Systems Asset Sale.)
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading
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