Telecommunications dealmakers’ phones ringing off the hook!

Consolidation in the telecommunications sector has already resulted in some of the largest deals seen both in the sector and on the global dealmaking landscape as a whole for some considerable time. Speculation of another massive deal has surfaced again this week, with Germany’s Deutsche Telecom being linked to the UK’s BT Group, which would value the UK telecoms network operator at a little short of USD 50bn.

This comes off the back of last week’s speculation by analysts that Verizon’s wireless wireline business could be an attractive target for Altice SA. A little over three weeks ago the Luxembourg-based telecoms holding company announced it was to pay USD 6.3bn to buy Cequel Communications from BC Partners and Cequel’s management, with the deal expected to close before the end of the year. This deal follows hot on the heels of last November’s USD 17.8bn acquisition of French company Societe Francaise de Radiotelephone SA.

Altice’s dealmaking since its January 2014 listing on Euronext Amsterdam should come as no surprise, given that at the time of the IPO executive chairman Patrick Drahi was quoted as saying: “This listing will provide investors with the opportunity to acquire an interest in a high-quality multinational cable company with a proven track record of value-creative M&A and a strategy to explore value-creative M&A opportunities going-forward.

Add into the mix Orange being linked to Belgacom, and on top of a sector that has so far generated over USD 158bn worth of deals in the year to date, there has perhaps never been a better time to be an advisor specialising in “TMT”!