Over 86 Billion Dollars of Telecom, Media and Tech M&A Deals in Asia in 2017, More Expected in 2018


Mergers and acquisitions have continued to grow in the telecom, media and tech (TMT) space in Asia with over US$86 billion of significant M&A transactions for the region in 2017, and more expected in 2018, according to specialist news provider TMT Finance.

“We expect telecom operator consolidation in several Asian markets in 2018, as mobile operators look to increase market share and profitability, with Indonesia, Malaysia and potentially Taiwan expected to see deals first,” commented TMT Finance, Asia Editor, Yedda Wang. “According to our market sources, fixed-line fibre network operators and datacentres owners are also well-positioned for M&A in a number of markets, while the media/telco convergence deals taking place in the US and Europe are also expected in Asia as telcos look to increase their investment and ownership of content.”

According to TMT Finance’s analysis, over US$86bn of TMT related M&A deals were announced in Asia in 2017. Larger deals included the US$23bn merger of Vodafone India and Idea Cellular’s which will give the new entity a 35% market share; China state-owned telco China Unicom plans to sell US$12bn in equity as part of its privatisation plan. Private equity has also been active in technology investment with a Bain Capital-led consortium agreeing to to buy Toshiba’s micro-chip unit for US$18bn.

In TMT infrastructure: Vodafone India and Idea Cellular agreed to sell their mobile towers assets to international tower operator American Tower for US$1.2bn; I Squared Capital bought Hutchison Global Communications Investment Holding Limited for US$1.86bn; Veon’s Pakistan mobile operator Jazz sold 13,000 towers to Edotco for US$940m; and Equinix agreed to acquire Australian datacentre operator Metronode for US$793m in cash.

To highlight and assess the M&A and investment opportunities in TMT for next year, the world’s leading TMT investment bankers, as well as CEOs and CFOs from Asia’s leading telecom, media and tech companies are meeting at TMT Finance Asia 2018 in Singapore on February 1. Industry leaders from Axiata, Indosat Ooredoo, Telstra, I Squared Capital, Telkom Indonesia, Goldman Sachs and UBS are among those speaking at the event which includes the TMT M&A Panel, chaired by Linklaters.

The annual executive only event, which takes place at Marina Bay Sands, features over 75 speakers. Other companies announced with speakers include AsiaSat, Emtek, edotco Group, Bharti Infratel, Protelindo, Alibaba Cloud, Irrawaddy Tower, Go-Jek, WeWork, Metronode, SBI Venture Capital, One Championship, Eleven Sports, Tata Communications, Sigfox, Apollo Towers, Goldman Sachs, DBS, ANZ, BNP Paribas, IFC, Huawei, Xona Partners and Linklaters.

Key session themes include TMT Investment Strategies, Mergers and Acquisitions, Telecoms Infrastructure, Broadband Investment, Ecommerce, Fintech, Artificial Intelligence, IT Services, Media and Content and Financing TMT.