In the latest edition of our Top Wireline Telecom Turkeys, we are serving up a healthy portion of companies' failed initiatives, products, strategies, and executive mishaps of 2013.
Telefónica and Telecom Italia are currently looking at various options for their respective businesses in Latin America as the two leading European operators continue to seek ways to reduce debt at the group level.
Telecom Italia said it agreed to sell its entire controlling stake in Telecom Argentina to the Fintech Group for a total price of $960 million (€712 million), confirming previous reports that it had received an offer from the investment company owned by Mexican financier David Martinez.
After months of disruption and speculation about its future strategy, Telecom Italia finally unveiled a new plan that will see the Italian operator invest €3.4 billion ($4.5 billion) in next-generation networks, cloud computing and LTE and raise funds of around €4 billion through the sale of its Argentina unit and other assets and the issue of up to €1.3 billion in mandatory convertible bonds.
Telefónica's CEO and Chairman Cesar Alierta gave assurances in Italy that he will avoid job cuts and maintain network investments at the struggling Italian operator as the Spanish group gradually increases control over Telecom Italia.
Telecom Italia is abandoning plans to spin out its wireline network operations, according to a Bloomberg report citing people close to the company's activities. The service provider will officially withdraw the plan during an upcoming board meeting on Nov. 7.
Telecom Italia is considering a sale of its 67 per cent in Brazilian mobile operator Tim Participacoes to raise €9 billion ($12.2 billion) as part of efforts to reduce its debt, Reuters reported, although the Italian incumbent has denied that it has started a sales process.
Moody's on Wednesday said it has downgraded Telecom Italia's credit ratings by one notch to Ba1 from Ba3, realising the fears of former CEO Franco Bernabe by classifying the Italian operator's bonds as "junk".
The resignation of Teleco Italia CEO Franco Bernabe has created the distinct possibility that Standard & Poor's will likely cut the carrier's debt rating to junk, according to a Bloomberg story.
As was widely anticipated, Telecom Italia Chairman and CEO Franco Bernabe handed in his resignation at the start of a board meeting that had been scheduled to determine the future business strategy of the troubled operator.