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Carlyle Group splashes out

The private equity company bought CommScope for $3.36 billion and Syniverse for $2.6 billion.

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Apart from a flood of quarterly results, there were the two international acquisitions, totalling almost $6 billion, by one of the major private equity groups - Carlyle Group, which bought CommScope for $3.36 billion and Syniverse for $2.6 billion. At home the market was very quiet, with no 'earth-shattering' announcements.

Key local news of the past week

* A positive trading update from UCS.
* A mixed trading update from Sekunjalo.
* Negative trading updates from Reunert and Vox Telecom.
* Trading on the JSE of Dimension Data's shares was suspended.
* AdaptIT bought the 49% of ITS it doesn't already own for R19.86 million.
* MTN's subscriber numbers in Q3 rose by 4% to 134.47 million.
* ICASA published the new draft RF spectrum regulations.
* Themba Dlamini was appointed CEO of ICASA.

Key African news

* Mediocre quarterly figures from Mobinil (Egypt).
* Libya's two state-owned mobile networks, al Madar and Libyana, will each list 30% of their stakes on its local stock market early next year.
* Tunisie Telecom will be listed on its local exchange by the end of this year.

Key international news

Themba Dlamini was appointed CEO of ICASA.

Paul Booth, MD, Global Research Partners

* Broadcom purchased Percello, a company that develops system-on-a-chip solutions for femtocells, for $86 million.
* The Carlyle Group, a private equity company, bought CommScope, a maker of coaxial fibre and twisted cable for communications networks, for $3.36 billion.
* The Carlyle Group also acquired Syniverse, a telecommunications services company, for $2.6 billion.
* Microsoft purchased Canesta, a 3D chip maker.
* Open Text acquired StreamServe, a provider of business communications solutions, for $71 million.
* Salesforce.com purchased the remaining shares it didn't already own of its Japanese unit, for $170 million.
* Oracle made a 10.2% investment in Mallanox, an Israeli provider of storage and server connectivity systems.
* Excellent quarterly results from Hynix Semiconductor.
* Very good quarterly figures from Arrow Electronics, Broadcom, F5 Networks, JDA Software, Microsoft and TSMC.
* Good quarterly numbers from ARM Holdings, CACI International, Canon, Diebold (back in the black), Hon Hai (Taiwan), Ingram Micro, Logitech, McAfee, Micros Systems, Motorola, Netgear, Panasonic, Samsung Electronics, SAP, Software AG, STMicroelectronics (back in the black), Texas Instruments, Tyco Electronics, UMC and VeriSign.
* Satisfactory quarterly results from BMC Software, China Telecom, France Telecom, KPN, Lexmark, Open Text, Samsung SDI, Softbank, Sony (back in the black), Tata Communications, Websense (back in the black) and ZTE.
* Mediocre quarterly results from Fujitsu, HCL Infosystems (India) and Unisys.
* Mixed quarterly figures from ADP, with revenue up but profit down; Ariba, with revenue up but profit down; China Unicom, with revenue up but profit down; DST Systems, with revenue up but profit down; Forrester Research, with revenue up but profit down; Idea Cellular, with revenue up but profit down; NEC, with revenue down but back in the black; NTT DoCoMo, with revenue down but profit up; Rogers Communications, with revenue up but profit down; Symantec, with revenue up but profit down; Tech Mahindra, with revenue up but profit down; Telenor, with revenue up but profit down; and TeliaSonera, with revenue down but profit up.
* Very poor quarterly figures from AU Optronics and LG Electronics.
* Quarterly losses from Eastman Kodak, Epicor, Iron Mountain, Level 3 Communications, Spansion and Sprint Nextel.
* The appointments of Charles Phillips (ex-co-president of Oracle) as CEO of Infor; and Paul Rooke as CEO of Lexmark (Paul Curlander, CEO of Lexmark, retired).
* The resignations of Omar Hamoui, the founder of AdMob; and Chad Hurley, a co-founder of YouTube.
* A planned IPO from Tudou, one of China's leading video Web sites.
* An IPO by Mail.ru, the Russian Internet company, in London this month. The listing will see 16% of the shares listed, in a deal that could raise close to $900 million and is likely to be one of this year's largest IPOs in Europe. Naspers is a major investor in Mail.ru, which in turn is an investor in Facebook.

Look out for

* International:
* The possible buy-out by IBM of Fortinet, a network security provider.
* Africa:
* A possible acquisition by Telecom Egypt of Zain's Saudi unit.
* A possible acquisition of Benin Telecoms by France Telecom.
* South Africa:
* The R35 million acquisition of Dialogue's 51% stake in ContinuitySA.

Research results and predictions

* Global handset shipments rose 13% in Q3 to 327 million units, according to Strategy Analytics. For the first time, Apple came in the top five.
* Thirty-seven percent of emerging small and medium enterprise businesses in SA have no Internet connectivity whatsoever, in sharp contrast to the 17% of established SMEs that have no connectivity, according to World Wide Worx.

Stock markets changes

* JSE All share index: Up 1% (highest weekend close since June 2008)
* Nasdaq: Up 1.1% (highest weekend close since May 2008)
* Top SA share movements: African Cellular Towers (-16.7%), Dialogue Group (+10%), FoneWorx (+13.9%), Labat Africa (+10%), Poynting Antennas (+38.1%), Sekunjalo (+26.5%), TCS (+25%) and Vox Telecom (-9.8%)

Final word

Bytes People Solutions has identified the top ten IT skills that will be needed next year. They are:

* Windows 7
* Office 2010
* SharePoint
* Virtualisation
* SaaS
* Cloud computing
* Web security
* Business process analysis and improvement
* Project management
* Silverlight

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