Alcatel Lucent’s (NYSE:ALU) plans to raise a loan of €1.6 billion by using its patents as security has raised alarm bells within the French government. Fearing valuable intellectual property could ultimately land up in the wrong hands, the French government is reported to be considering two other alternatives. One seeks to enable Alcatel Lucent to sell its submarine cable and enterprise businesses while the other proposes to monetise the patents throughout a separate vehicle that would have Alcatel Lucent as a co-owner, but would allow investors to buy stakes in the patents.
Vodafone Group plc (NASDAQ:VOD) splurges €1.4 billion, or $1.84 billion, on a purchase of wireless spectrum suitable for 4G network traffic in a Dutch government auction that mobilised €3.8 billion, with Deutsche Telekom and Tele2AB being the other carriers which bought airwave rights. Before the bell, Vodafone ADRs are trading down 1.28%.
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Sprint (NYSE:S) announces its agreement to buy the portion of Clearwire (NASDAQ:CLWR) that it does not already own, about 50%, for $2.97 per share, resulting in a payout of about $2.2 billion to the non-Sprint shareholders. The price per share is at a premium of 128% to Clearwire’s closing share price the day before the takeover discussions were first made public on October 11. Clearwire is valued at approximately $10 billion, including net debt and lease obligations of $5.5 billion. “Sprint is uniquely positioned to maximize the value of Clearwire’s spectrum and efficiently deploy it to increase Sprint’s network capacity,” said Sprint CEO Dan Hesse.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, the latest release from Time Warner (NYSE:TWX), collected $84.78 million at the box office this weekend, setting a new December opening weekend record. It failed, however, to reach the magic mark of $100 million possibly due to slightly off-the-mark marketing and some not-so-hot reviews that dampened moviegoer enthusiasm. But considering December releases normally start on a slow note and build up through the holiday season, a collection of $300 million at the US box offices by Hobbit may still be within the realm of possibility.
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