Category Archives: Communications

What Mohamed Amersi is saying about the Telia deal

Mohamed Amersi
Mohamed Amersi

Mohamed Amersi is generally unknown in Sweden, but in the 2010s he was a legendary dealmaker in the emerging markets of Eurasia. For several years, Telia hired Amersi and his company to facilitate the company’s investments in Turkey, Kazakhstan, Nepal, Russia, and Uzbekistan. 

As background, Amersi says “I have a long experience of doing M&A business in emerging markets. In Latin America for Telefonica, in the Middle East for Etisalat, Oredoo and Zain, in Africa for Etisalat, MTN and Zain, in Russia for Veon to name a few clients. In total, I have participated in transactions corresponding to approximately 1,000 billion Swedish Kronas.” Within these deals, Amersi provided both legal expertise and input from his corporate, finance, private equity, and venture capital experience.

“At the time of Telia’s business in Eurasia, the company had ambitions to become a global player in telecoms, primarily through acquisitions in emerging markets. To succeed in this,” Amersi explains,  “a successful acquisition strategy was required. At that time, the two merging companies – Swedish Telia and Finnish Sonera – already had a presence in Eurasia through the operators Megafon, Turkcell, and Fintur. But the competence of the merged company needed to be strengthened to be able to continue to acquire and manage operators in Eurasia.” As Amersi attests, he is arguably the only person who could both handle the M&A directly, “and had insight into the local culture and could work both sustainably and profitably.”

Amersi reiterates that Telia Sonera was also interested in finding and acquiring operators in other emerging markets. That is why his company was hired for an ongoing role in advisement to merge Swedish-Finnish company. Ultimately, the merger was meant to bring Telia new operators outside of Eurasia, with expansions in emerging countries such as Nepal, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Myanmar, Iran, and Ethiopia.

It was precisely Amersi’s cultural litheness and familiarity that allowed him to make valuable contributions to the Telia merger process. To Amersi, his role was “about general advice, resolving ownership disputes, understanding local regulatory issues and not least evaluating and concluding agreements with local partners.” These local partners, says Amersi, are often quite powerful and wealthy; their support is key to making any deal.

“But unlike what has been described in the press, it is not about bribes at all. It is crucial that the deal is started in the right way. It must be made clear to the responsible authorities, regulatory units and other authorities and parties that there will be no bribes.” 

Mohamed Amersi

Toward that end, Amersi adds that the collaboration with prominent local partners must be fully established and clarified from the very beginning. This allows for clearly described roles and responsibilities,” as well as clear payment flows. Amersi also says that local partners must be required to co-own the merged entity, giving them a financial stake (and risk) that come with the co-ownership. Amersi’s insistence on the local partners is in fact built on the principle that “value creation in the merged business that profits and dividends can be made. Not through bribes. It is in collaboration with a weak partner that corruption most often occurs.”

Furthermore, Amersi insists that a culture of giving back must be inherent in any merger process. “It is about creating local jobs, education and skills development locally, and not trying to minimize taxes, but paying full local tax.”

Mohamed Amersi

As for his involvement with Telia, Amersi clarifies “My role in this transaction was of a technical nature…I was asked as an advisor to make a check of the valuation made of Telia’s finance function and to be helpful in developing an optimal structure for the transaction. In addition to my assignment, Telia had hired world-leading lawyers with recognized good competence and experience in negotiating and drafting agreements, as well as conducting audits and due diligence.  I, therefore, did not participate in the negotiations themselves or directly in the implementation of the deal or in any part of the review and due diligence.”

Ultimately, it is clear from the investigations and a conversation with Amersi that not a single error was found, or any remark made.  Telia’s auditors also reviewed the relationship between the companies.  Amersi is a man of truth, integrity, and respect; these are his keywords for trust and transactions of all kinds.

Money Management during dual crisis

How to Manage a Dual Crisis: Coronavirus and Market Meltdown

The CEO of Source Financial Advisors, Michelle Smith, has issued several suggestions for how the financial community can endure two conflating situations: the economic fallout of the coronavirus and market declines.

Be in Touch

Use technology to maintain contact with clients. Video platforms should be utilized as much as possible to offer a face-to-face personal interaction. While working remotely may mean that things are a bit more casual, it is important to keep things professional.

Be Authentic

The need to maintain decorum and professionalism notwithstanding, it is also important to be genuine with clients. They want to know that their money is in good hands, but they also want to have a sincere conversation about life. Start and end every conversation with a client by discussing their wellbeing. Ask how they are managing and feeling. Give them the assurance they need. Show them that you care about their physical, mental, and financial health.

Michelle Smith advises maintaining professionalism alongside authenticity during these trying times.

Be Pro-Active

When things are uncertain it is tempting to switch to preservation mode. We have a fiduciary responsibility to do our best for those who are already clients; we may not have the bandwidth to grow our business. But as we focus on the clients we have, we should also maintain business contacts and relationships that can help our business in the future. Look for opportunities in various sectors and actively pursue leads.

Be Thoughtful

Clients are worried about a lot of things right now. It is the job of financial planners and economic advisors to ensure that money is not an additional concern. The current health concerns coupled with economic uncertainties present people with two extremely basic fears: being alone and broke. Now is not the time to overwhelm clients with statistics and trends. Listen closely to what the clients are saying and what they feel most comfortable with at this time. This is unchartered territory for everyone. Every individual, business owner, team leader, and industry specialist is figuring out how to navigate these uncertain times. In the money management field, being attentive, genuine, forthcoming, and caring is the best business practice right now.

T-Mobile and Sprint Looking to Merge: Will Government Let Them?

Graphic courtesy of RRZEicons

As two of the US’s largest telecom companies seek to join forces, state attorneys general are seeking to stop them, for fear of creating a company that will violate anti-competition law.


T-Mobile and Sprint are seeking a merger valued at $26.5 billion in a federal trial due to begin this week in Manhattan, presided over by US Judge Victor Marrero. The judge will listen to arguments against the merger from lawyers representing a group of states, including New York and California, who will say that such a merger will interfere with competition, ending with higher prices for consumers.


The states will assert that it would be a blow to competition to make what is already a small field of four competitors, Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint and AT&T and shrink it down to only three. Even though the Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Justice both ruled in favor of the merger, the states want to argue that the decisions were mistakes and the deal should be prevented.


Spring and T-Mobile lawyers also have reasons to allow the merger, saying that a few crucial things have changed over the years which make a merger more competitive and helpful for consumers.

Ericsson’s First Smart Factory is Coming to Somewhere in the USA


Although its exact location has not yet been announced, Ericsson confirmed that it is going to build its first smart factory in the USA soon. The factory will be fully automated and will build advanced antenna system radios as well as 5G radios. The products are both essential components for the insertion of 5G networks into North America.


The new factory is an additional component of the company’s global supply chain. Already working closely with its customers in Europe, Asia and America, Ericsson is continuing to insure they meet their customers’ needs.


Vice President and Head of Networks for Ericsson, Fredrik Jejdling, said;


“We continue to focus on working closely with our customers and supporting them in the buildout of 5G globally and in North America. In addition, we are digitalizing our entire global production landscape, including establishing this factory in the US. With 5G connectivity we’re accelerating Industry 4.0, enabling automated factories for the future.”


The company says that they want to open the new factory by the beginning of 2020. Their vision is that the new smart factory will be powered by Ericsson 5G solutions which are built specifically for industry. The operation will help to promote sustainability, including the goal of receiving LEED Gold Certification.


In the early stages the new factory will employ about 100 human workers working in tandem with the automation. The company already has a new R&D facility and software development center in Austin, Texas, which is already near the Austin ASIC Design Center. The Center opened at the end of 2017 and builds core microelectronics for 5G radio base stations.

A Fascinating Move in the Aerospace Industry

In a fascinating move, the aerospace industry have been looking to 3D printing technology, also known as additive manufacturing. What has typically required welding together 20 parts, for instance, can now require the use of printing just one. Many industry giants like Lockheed Martin and Honeywell are using additively manufactured components into their designs. GE Aviation has recently invested $70 million in their Auburn, Alabama factory to make 3D printed fuel nozzles for their LEAP jet engine.

As Greg Morris, who is leading the additive manufacturing team for GE Aviation in Cincinnati Ohio explained to Business Insider about their situation, “We get five times the durability. We have a lighter-weight fuel nozzle. And we frankly have a fuel nozzle that operates in an environment more effectively and more efficiently than previous fuel nozzles.”

As a leading expert in the aerospace industry, Elio Moti Sonnenfeld, explained, “These technologies are transforming what we have always known was possible and making the impossible seem possible.”

In another example, Belgian aerospace company Sonaca has accounted that they are creating a partnership with France based Fives-Michelin Additive Solutions (FMAS) to both develop and produce 3D printing titanium parts that would be used for the aerospace industry.

For this specific situation, the goal for Sonaca and FMAS is to combine Sonaca’s aerospace experience with the additive manufacturing skills that Fives-Michelin has. As Bernard Delvaux, the CEO of Sonaca said “We are extremely happy to work with Fives Michelin Additive Solutions. Their reputation in AM and the performance of their machines, backed up by several years of industrial practical application, is a remarkable asset.”

Experts in the aerospace industry have explained the impact of these partnerships. As Elio Moti Sonnenfeld explains, “With the ability to create certified 3D printed titanium aerospace parts, the companies hope that they can offer clients a location where they can design, manufacture, engineer and certify production parts.”

Additive manufacturing technologies have become a location of great interest for aerospace companies. Elio Moti Sonnenfeld explains that 3D printing can offer aerospace companies a way to produce end-use parts that is both cost effective and time efficient.

In total, additive manufacturing now represents a $3 billion slice of overall manufacturing output. Greg Morris is predicting that the number will soar as high as $100 billion in the coming years.