Orange reveals MEA strategy, launches separate holding entity

first_img Español AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInLinkedInShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to MoreAddThisMore 03 JUL 2015 Kavit Majithia Orange makes secure cloud pact for French market Orange Ventures injects €30M into new fund Previous ArticleIndia moves to nationwide mobile number portabilityNext ArticleHuawei CEO continues European charm offensive Tags Las grandes operadoras europeas ponen condiciones a las RAN abiertascenter_img Author Related AfricaMiddle EastOrange Kavit joined Mobile World Live in May 2015 as Content Editor. He started his journalism career at the Press Association before joining Euromoney’s graduate scheme in April 2010. Read More >> Read more Home Orange reveals MEA strategy, launches separate holding entity Orange yesterday reaffirmed ambitions to grow its presence across Africa and the Middle East via acquisition, as the company established a separate holding company for its operations in the regions, effective from this month.The move, which has been mooted for over year, will see Orange launch a holding company for all its assets in both regions under a single legal framework. Orange operates in 19 countries across Africa and the Middle East and said it has ambitions to grow revenue by approximately 5 per cent every year through to 2018. It also aims to increase operating profit faster than sales growth.Speaking at Orange’s Africa and Middle East event in London, deputy CEO and CFO Ramon Fernandez (pictured) added that the separate entity could potentially be used to attract new investors and strategic partners to team up with Orange. Most recently, the company said it was looking for investors in Egypt, while planning to increase its stake in Morocco’s Meditel.“We do a lot in both regions, so we wanted to create a clearer means of communication,” he said. “Now you can access our revenue and EBITDA performance specific to this part of the world. We could use it to work on strategic partners and develop our activities here, which we believe will be popular. When you look around, there is not a lot of scope for international companies to invest in Africa and this could be a way in.”Fernandez refuted claims that setting up the separate entity could be a way for Orange to eventually exit the region, stating that the move “reaffirms more than ever the company’s commitment to grow in both regions”.He however remains more open to potential flotation in the future, stating that “we could look at a listing at some point. We are creating conditions for opportunities as they arise”.Orange has “open mind” over acquisitions Orange revealed its Africa and Middle East unit is presently the group’s most profitable, with a 33 per cent average increase in revenue, compared to 31 per cent in other regions.It added that its strategy for Europe is based around convergence, which was reaffirmed by its proposed acquisition of Spain’s Jazztel. Fernandez also said it was not looking to expand anywhere else, apart from its three core markets.“We are not trying to be an operator in Asia, Latin America or North America. We are an operator in Europe, Africa and the Middle East and that’s where we want to be.”In Africa and the Middle East, Fernandez said the company was looking at possible acquisition targets to grow its presence, and did not rule out a move for Airtel’s assets in Africa, where the Indian company is rumoured to be looking to exit.“We know we can build,” he said. When you look at our track record, coupled with our existing presence, we are in a position to add assets if we find them at the right price. We will focus to look at potential opportunities and we have an open mind over the potential that exists.”last_img read more

Valuable lessons from Queens Moat fiasco

first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img

Law firms and Wikipedia, part two: learning the ways

first_imgIt’s only fair and right, after castigating hordes of big law firms over their woeful Wikipedia entries back in May, to let the world know when law firms learn to get Wikipedia right. So step up, CMS Cameron McKenna. Eve MacKinnon at CMS wrote to me back in June (while I was on holiday) to say that the firm had looked at its Wikipedia entry – which I had said was ‘not good’, was ‘way too brief’ and had a long-standing ‘lack of sources’ tag from Wikipedia central – and redone it. Now it’s a paragon of ‘how to do a Wikipedia entry’. It’s not holding tonnes more content in terms of numbers of words but it looks a heck of a lot better, it’s far better laid out and it’s a lot more ‘informative’, to my mind. So well done, CMCK. Going back over the article I wrote about firms and their Wiki entries, I am struck by one comment, by Michael J ‘Orange Mike’ Lowrey, who says he’s ‘one of the thousands of volunteer administrators’. Orange Mike sums up, to me, why Wikipedia is not somewhere that marketing people can carelessly write rubbish about firms, and shows how seriously Wikipedia admins take their ‘work’ – and rightly so. Orange Mike, however, is not best pleased with our advice that law firms should write their own entries: [Forgive Mike’s Americanised spelling] ‘Wikipedia has very strong rules against conflict of interest, self-aggrandizement and just plain advertising. If your article advised your readership to create or edit articles about their own firms… you [Mike means me, here] behave incredibly irresponsibly… such actions, when spotted, are reversed expeditiously; and persistently abusive editors can and will be blocked. If your readers persist in abusing this invaluable resource for PR purposes (such as by ‘adding links to your firm’s own website, blog posts and notable references’), their firms can find themselves blocked, and any links to them blacklisted in the most appalling and shameless cases. We call this spamming, and patrol against it militantly. If your readership is intelligent, then please contribute to our coverage of the law. Just don’t try to misuse us as a PR tool.’ In essence, Mike is saying that law firms should not write their own entries. Now, I think it’s being completely unrealistic to expect a law firm not to either make its own Wikipedia page or make sure it’s accurate and ‘good’. So I think Mike’s being very unrealistic about what law firms should and shouldn’t do. Also, all my advice on Wikipedia entry creation was based on the fact that either firms will do this themselves and do it badly, and get kicked off, or do it ‘properly’, and (hopefully) not. I’m just trying to push, or perhaps nudge, firms in the right direction on a road they’re already on. But Mike, and people like him, are running this show, and that is why I wrote so vehemently that firms must ‘tell it straight’. Because, if they don’t, they’ll have the Mikes of this world on their case.last_img read more

10,000 Poles stage rally for government ouster

first_imgWARSAW, Poland – Thousands marched through the streets of the Polish capital Saturday, calling for new elections and the ouster of the government after weeks of political turmoil. More than 10,000 people carrying opposition Civic Platform placards and Poland’s red-and-white flag marched through downtown, urging Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski – whose Cabinet no longer has majority support in parliament – to step aside. “A good government is for people to feel free and safe, and the road to that is new elections,” Civic Platform leader Donald Tusk said at a rally at a square outside the Royal Castle. “We want new elections; we want a better government.” Three weeks ago, Kaczynski dumped the leader of the rural-based Self-Defense party from his Cabinet, causing his government to lose majority support in parliament. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe joys and headaches of holiday travel: John Phillips 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Another Update on Grace, the Animal Kingdom’s Baby Gorilla

first_imgShare This!One of our favorite things to at Walt Disney World is to check on the development of Grace, the Animal Kingdom’s baby Gorilla.Grace is now four months old. Here she is, peeking around her Mom, Kashata.In speaking with a keeper, we learned that Grace’s brothers are rough with her because when they were small, the older sister of the family, Lilly, was rough with them. Lilly is currently nine years old. They are keeping Lilly in the enclosure with Grace and Katasha, with the hope that she will learn baby care skills from Katasha.Take a look at some of the family members in action.Photos: Christina Harrisonlast_img

Boxing: SA’s world beaters

first_img20 May 2004South Africa has a proud history on the world boxing stage. The country’s boxers have won over 50 world titles, from light flyweight through to heavyweight, and South Africa continues to churn out fighters ready to challenge for world crowns.Certainly, the advent of more than one world governing body has made it a lot easier to win a “world” title, but it takes plenty of hard work and dedication to make it to the top.Back when only one world title existed, Vic Toweel was the only South African to make it to the top of the pile, winning the world welterweight title in 1950.At that time, though, apartheid saw to it that many of the country’s top boxers were not afforded the chance to practise their sport professionally.Opening doorsSome time before democracy was achieved in 1994, however, boxing opened up doors for many black South Africans. Areas such as the Eastern Cape, especially around East London, produced numerous classy fighters, and boxing became a sport of the people; race didn’t really matter, because the success of a South African boxer was just that: a South African success.After Vic Toweel’s success in 1950, it was 23 years before South Africa was able to claim another world champion. Arnold Taylor did the trick when he knocked out Romea Anaya in the fourteenth round of their WBA bantamweight title bout in Johannesburg in 1973. He went on to successfully defend the title three times before losing it on points over 15 rounds to Soo-Hwan Hong.It took a wait of another seven years before SA could applaud another world champion, and this time he was black. Peter “Terror” Mathebula defeated Tae-Shik Kim to claim the WBA bantamweight title in Atlantic City in 1981.Three years later, Gerrie Coetzee became the latest “great white hope” when he knocked out Michael Dokes in the tenth round to win the WBA heavyweight title.Two years after that, in 1986, the man many regard as South Africa’s finest ever world champion, Brian Mitchell, won the WBA junior-lightweight title with a tenth-ound KO of Alfredo Layne. He went on to successfully defend his title 12 times over five years – not once on home soil – before retiring.Since the 1990s, titles have come thick and fast for South African boxers. Some have even become multiple title holders.Dingaan Thobela, “The Rose of Soweto”, won world crowns as a lightweight and a middleweight. His slick punching skills earned him many fans, but another fighter emerged from Soweto who proved even more popular than Thobela.The shortest world boxing champion ever at 4 feet 10 inches, “Baby” Jake Matlala won world titles in four different organisations, starting in 1993 with the WBO flyweight title, and ending with the WBU junior flyweight title in 2001. A charismatic man, Baby Jake was an all-action fighter who crowded his opponents, pounding them with a furious work rate.The night Baby Jake retired, Nelson Mandela was in attendance, watching as Matlala brought down the curtain on his 76-fight career with a seventh-round knockout of Juan Harrera.Other South Africans to win multiple titles include Thulani “Sugarboy” Malinga, Cassius Baloyi, Lehlohonolo “Hands of Stone” Ledwaba, Mzukisi Sikali, Masibulele “Hawk” Makepula, and Mbulelo Botile. Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

BEE still dominant in mergers

first_img20 April 2007Ernst & Young has released its annual review of merger and acquisition activity (M&A) in South Africa, which indicates that black economic empowerment (BEE) deals remain a dominant feature of the country’s economy.According to the survey, values of BEE deals done during 2006 reached R56-billion, much similar to the R56.2-bllion worth of BEE deals carried out during the previous year.“However, the number of transactions dropped from 238 in 2005 to 221 in the year under review,” says Ernst and Young in a press release issued last week.The survey reveals that the largest BEE transaction in 2006 was by the Royal Bafokeng tribe, which converted its Impala Lease Royalty stream into 13.4% of the shares in Impala, in a deal worth R12.1-billion.The second largest deal was the acquisition of a 46% interest in Holcim South Africa by the AfriSam Consortium, worth R6.8-billion. However, it remains to be seen if Aveng, which has a pre-emptive on the shareholding, will exercise those rights or sell to the AfriSam Consortium.Further more, Ashraf Dada, Ernst & Young’s transaction advisory services associate director specialising in BEE points out that should the deal go through, “it will put a large, very technical, and capital expenditure-heavy asset in the hands of new shareholders who have little experience of this industry”.Third on the list is as offer by a Mineworkers Investment Company-led consortium to fully buyout Peermont Global for almost R5.2-billion.Dada also looked into BEE trends that emerged during 2006, stating that the Codes of Good Practice for Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment, which were gazetted in February, gave businesses more flexibility in carrying out deals.“The codes will give companies more room to manoeuvre thanks to the conditional provision for mainstream companies to retain their BEE points if their empowerment partners sell out or their shares are ceded to funders,” he said.“This also makes it likely that we’ll see BEE companies increasingly trading with each other to repay their debt and reduce their capital requirements.”M&A deals to increase in 2007The survey shows that there were a total of 729 transactions in 2006, representing a small decline from the 744 deals concluded the previous year, though combined values had increased slightly from R269-billion in 2005 to R284-billion in 2006.Business Report stated last week that that local companies were involved in 67 M&A deals during the first quarter of 2007, with a combined value of R68-billion.According to the paper, the largest deal in the first quarter was the $3.5-billion buyout of Edgars Consolidated Stores by US-based private equity firm Bain Capital, followed by the $2.9-billion takeover of Kazakhstan uranium producer UrAsia Energy by JSE- and Toronto- listed SXR Uranium One.According to Ernst & Young director Dave Thayser, a better reflection of M&A activity in 2006 was the number of transactions exceeding R5-billion – 14 “mega deals” were done in 2006, almost double the 2005 figure of 8.“The year was unusual in other ways, with private equity dominating the M&A debate, rather than BEE, which has been a central theme for several years,” he said.The largest transaction in 2006 was the acquisition of telecoms group Investcom LLC by the MTN Group for R33.5-billion, followed by Gold Fields’ acquisition of half of the South Deep mine from Barrick Gold for R18-billion.The third largest transaction for the year was an offer of R14.2-billion for Shoprite Holdings by a consortium led by private equity firm Brait.Looking to prospects for M&A activity in the current year, Thayser said South Africa would take its lead from global markets.“As a result, it is unlikely that our M&A wave will peak before that in global markets. In addition, our domestic and economic fundamentals are in place to encourage a further increase in M&A activity,” he said.Globally, Ernst & Young’s survey shows that there were almost 28 000 M&A transactions, with a combined value of $3.7-trillion, bettering the previous record of R3.4-trillion set in 2000. The number of deals exceeding $10-billion also rose to 51, from 37 the previous reporter Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

Weekly Wrapup: Obama Inauguration on the Web

first_imgRWW JobwireThe White House Names New Media DirectorAs noted above, the website saw major improvements this week – thanks in large part to the efforts of Macon Phillips, The White House’s newly appointed New Media Director. One minute after the inauguration, Phillips posted an entry entitled “Change has come to” and introduced himself as one of several people who will blog on the site. In the post he says, “our initial new media efforts will center around three priorities: communication, transparency and participation”.SUBSCRIBE TO READWRITEWEB’S JOBWIRE FOR THE LATEST NEWS ON JOB HIRES IN TECHWeb Trends7 Online Things To Do To Help Obama Restore America As noted above, this week we watched Barack Obama be inaugurated as the 44th President of the United States of America. Many have called Mr. Obama the Internet President because of the unprecedented way his campaign used the medium to raise funds, raise awareness, and ultimately outmaneuver John McCain. But what can we do now to help turn this country around? Read on for 7 things every one of us can do on the Internet to help Obama restore America.Word Cloud Analysis of Obama’s Inaugural Speech Compared to Bush, Clinton, Reagan, Lincoln’s When Barack Obama was sworn in as President of the US, his speech was widely praised around the web. There were quite a few concepts discussed that we suspected hadn’t been a part of past inaugural speeches. What words were used most often? We ran the full text of the speech through tag cloud generator for one view of the event, and just for the sake of historical context we ran George W. Bush’s second inaugural speech, Bill Clinton’s second, Reagan’s first, and Lincoln’s first and second inaugural speeches as well.The most common words in the Obama and Bush speeches were dramatically different.RWW Live: OpenID In the second RWW Live of 2009, we discussed a web standard that made big strides in 2008 and is being increasingly adopted by Internet companies big and small: OpenID. At the end of December, the OpenID Foundation announced its new Board – and we had several of those board members on the RWW Live podcast show this week. They were Scott Kveton and Chris Messina from Vidoop, Brian Kissel from JanRain, and David Recordon from SixApart. As usual, RWW Live was hosted by Sean Ammirati and featured the RWW regulars.Download MP3The Older You Are, the Better You Multi-Task (If You’re a Woman) New data released by Integrated Media Measurement Inc. (IMMI) gives us insight into how men and women engage in “simultaneous media use” – that is, surfing the net while also doing some other activity like watching TV. According to the study, it’s more common for women to watch TV and use the computer than it is for men. What’s more, women supposedly get better at this multi-tasking as they age. SEE MORE WEB TRENDS COVERAGE IN OUR TRENDS CATEGORYEnterpriseLive Presentations: What an Online Office Suite Should Look Like The current crop of online office suites from Google, Zoho, or ThinkFree is quite usable, but most of these products still feel very limited compared to the power of Microsoft’s Office products. The newest entrant in this market, Live Documents, however, is trying to change this by developing a fully featured online/offline office suite. This week, Live Documents, which was co-founded by Sabeer Bhatia, who famously sold Hotmail to Microsoft in 1998, released its first product: Live Presentations. We think that the Live Documents suite, thanks to its easy to use user interface and support for offline editing, has the potential to play a major role in the online office suite market – especially once the team irons out the bugs and adds a word processor and a spreadsheet application.Email us if you’re interested in writing for ReadWriteWeb’s Enterprise Channel.SEE MORE ENTERPRISE COVERAGE IN OUR ENTERPRISE CHANNELThat’s a wrap for another week! Enjoy your weekend everyone. Web ProductsFacebook and CNN: The Power of the Social Web Revealed This week Barack Obama was sworn in as the 44th President of the United States. As several million people attended the inauguration in Washington D.C., Facebook and CNN invited the rest of the world to watch the moment online. Online visitors to were able to use its video player to watch the live broadcast coverage of the event. We also saw what has be one of the most brilliant examples of the real-time web in action: next to the video, the Facebook status updates of those watching streamed by in the sidebar. ReadWriteWeb Guide to Celebrating Inauguration Day Millions of people followed the inaugeration via the Web; as Obama recently pointed out “you don’t have to brave the crowds and commotion in order to participate in this celebration.” We compiled a list of online resources to navigate the inauguration virtually. Included are Inaugural Week events, where to watch the Inauguration online, news coverage, and links to interesting and [we hope] fun sites. Although the event is over now, many of the links in our guide have archived content to enjoy at your Looking Back at 12 Years of the US President’s Web Presence As the eyes of the world were focused on the pomp and circumstance of Barack Obama moving into a new role as President of the United States, Obama’s Web team was hard at work – with far less fanfare – moving their Web property to a new address:, the official Web site for the President. And while, at first blush, the site may appear similar to Obama’s President-elect site,, it is strikingly different than the predecessors who have occupied over the past 12 years. How different? In this post we take a look.Is Twitter Strangling its Famous API?The most extreme developers may find themselves left out in the cold.Twitter watchers know that a large part of the service’s use comes through its Application Programming Interface (API) and that’s been a big part of what helped the young service grow. Now that the company has Britney Spears, CNN and Barack Obama among its ranks of users, though, developers seeking to push the limits of that API may soon find themselves no longer welcome.Netflix Prize: Will the $1 Million be Won in 2009? This week we started a new series here on ReadWriteWeb about recommendation engines. We identified recommendations as one of 5 trends to watch at the start of 2008; and that’s even more so at the beginning of 2009. We also have a page dedicated to recommendation technologies in our stock presentation entitled What’s Next on the Web?. In this post we look at Netflix; and in particular update you on the $1 million challenge that Netflix set in order to find ‘the next big thing’ in recommendations.SEE MORE WEB PRODUCTS COVERAGE IN OUR PRODUCTS CATEGORYA Word from Our SponsorsWe’d like to thank ReadWriteWeb’s sponsors, without whom we couldn’t bring you all these stories every week!Mashery is the leading provider of API management services.Crowd Science gives you detailed visitor demographics.Rackspace provides dedicated server hosting.TaxACT lets you file your taxes online.Adobe Flash Media Interactive Server 3.5 allows you to create interactive social media experiences.Babylon is the world’s leading dictionary and translation software.WildApricot is Membership Management Software.DEMO09 is the launchpad for emerging technology.MediaTemple provides hosting for RWW.VisualCV lets you stand out from the crowd when job-hunting.Eurekster is a custom social search portal.SixApart provides our publishing software MT4. Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Related Posts Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… richard macmanuscenter_img In this edition of the Weekly Wrapup, our newsletter summarizing the top stories of the week, we take a special look at how President Obama’s inauguration was covered, analyzed and celebrated via the Internet. Also this week we began a new series on recommendation technologies, starting with the Netflix Prize; and we asked some hard questions about Twitter’s API support. Check out the highlights too from our Enterprise Channel and Jobwire, ReadWriteWeb’s new product which tracks hires in tech and new media.The Weekly Wrapup is sponsored by Adobe Flash Media Interactive Server 3.5:You can subscribe to the Weekly Wrapup by RSS or by email (form below, for those of you reading this via our website).RWW Weekly Wrap-up Email Subscription form: A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Tags:#Features#web#Weekly Wrap-ups 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

Google Wants Your Small Business To Have a Company Blog

first_imgRelated Posts 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Tags:#biz#Software Guides A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… john paul titlow As most business users of Google Apps know by now, Google recently added dozens of new services to Google Apps, including AdWords, Analytics, DoubleClick, Feedburner, Reader and Voice, among others. The update gives Google Apps customers access to a whole suite of applications that were previously only available to individual users. One of these newly-available applications is Blogger, Google’s hosted blogging platform. In a post on the Google Small Business Blog today, Blogger’s product manager Anil Sabharwal discusses how small businesses can add Blogger to their toolkit and use it to publish a company blog. Writes Sabharwal:center_img Whether it’s on Blogger, WordPress, Tumblr or elsewhere, maintaining a company blog is definitely a good idea for small businesses, as it can build a sense of authority and trust with customers and helps drive traffic to your company’s site. For existing Google Apps customers, Blogger may make an ideal fit if only because it’s part of the same suite of applications they’re already using. For users who’d like to move their company blog to Blogger from another provider, Google does offer fairly straight-forward tools for importing blogs from WordPress and other services. Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting A recent study showed that an estimated 34% of US companies already use one or more blogs to connect with their customers, and this figure has doubled in the past few years. Google uses blogs, just like the Enterprise Blog where you’re reading now, to connect with our users and partners. In fact, Google has almost a hundred blogs running on the Blogger platform, covering topics as diverse as our renewable energy policies, product updates, developer challenges and code snippets, and information for advertisers and partners.last_img read more