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

Telecommunications M&A deal values continued to fall in the first half of 2022 after last year’s surge, but some deal types remain strong.

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Telecom M&A: Here Are the Latest Deal Trends Worldwide
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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 each quarter, we’ll publish the latest developments in this dashboard.

Here are some of the key takeaways from the first half of the year’s deals:

  • Telecom M&A momentum slowed in the first half of 2022 compared with the same time period a year ago, with deal values falling from $88B to $41B (see panel 1). Regionally, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa dominated the majority of global transaction value, with around 60% in the first half of 2022, followed by Asia-Pacific at about 25%.
  • In-country scale deals also slowed in the first half of 2022 but still accounted for nearly 45% of total deal value, while infrastructure deals made up about 30% of value (see panel 2). Those numbers come with an important caveat, as the first half of 2022 saw a larger number of transactions without disclosed deal values compared with a year ago, particularly in infrastructure, which likely makes the year-over-year decline look larger than it was.  
  • The largest announced deal of the first half of 2022 remains an in-country scale transaction (see panel 1); Orange and MásMóvil announced earlier this year that they’re in exclusive discussions to merge their Spanish businesses to expand their fiber-to-the-home businesses and 5G networks.
  • In-country M&A accounts for slightly more than half of total deal value since 2016, mainly because of growth in infrastructure deals and full asset divestments (see panel 3).
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