Telecom M&A: Here Are the Latest Deal Trends Worldwide

Telecommunications M&A deal value collapsed in the first quarter due to factors including the cost of debt, industry concentration, and deal volatility.


Telecom M&A: Here Are the Latest Deal Trends Worldwide

Facing unprecedented industry transformation and emerging competitive threats, many telecommunications companies are turning to mergers and acquisitions to add new capabilities and evolve their businesses for the next era. At the same time, in the biggest industry reset since deregulation, the integrated telco is giving way to more disaggregated, narrowly focused business models. We’re tracking telecom M&A activity around the world, and we’ll publish the latest developments in this dashboard each quarter.

Here are some of the key takeaways through the first quarter of 2023:

  • Deal value down: Telecom M&A reached just $5 billion in deal value in the first quarter, falling a whopping 82% year over year and 41% from the previous quarter (see Figure 1). This continued a decline that began last year. A multitude of factors contributed to the lower total deal value in the first quarter, including the high cost of debt, the degree of industry concentration, and volatility in certain deal types, such as scale transactions. Comparing regions, the majority of global transaction value came from the Americas, with about 85% of the first quarter’s reported deal value.
  • Infrastructure deals dominate: Infrastructure deals made up about 69% of global deal value in the first quarter, followed by in-country scale deals at 29% of deal value (see Figure 2). Infrastructure deals have accounted for much of the industry’s deal value and growth since 2019, primarily due to telecom divestments.
  • Biggest deal: The largest announced deal of the first quarter was an infrastructure transaction. EQT and PSP Investments entered into an agreement to acquire Radius Global Infrastructure for $3 billion to expand Radius’s geographic footprint and portfolio.
  • Long-term view: Infrastructure deals and full asset divestments account for about half of all deal value since 2017 (see Figure 3).

Bain’s Quarterly Global Telecom M&A Insights

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M&A Report 2023

Telecommunications M&A

Challenger consolidation and digital infrastructure deals resulting from the rising cost of debt will reshape the industry further.


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