20060424

Far and Middle East predators

China Mobile recently had to deny rumors of bidding for MIC (Millicom International Cellular), the most exotic mobile arm of the late Jan Stenbeck, once a specialist in military mobile comms (you RACAL you).
More than a tactical weapon, MIC could even become a Weapon of Mass Differenciation for today's most ambitious cellcos. Etisalat (Emirates Telecommunications Corp) and China Mobile already fought for a slice of Pakistan Telecommunications Co last year, but MIC offers more than a few crumbs (10M clients across 16 markets totalling 390M people).

Millicom's "strategic review" started with a cleanup of participations and the purchase of minority shares. The "Up for sale" sign has not yet been painted but deep-pocketed purchasers already left fingerprints all over the place (the heavier the smearer). Beyond deep pockets are required patience, expertise in risk management and a knack for caligraphy (this may not look like your usual J or S curve).




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