2018 M&A Review: International Edition

December 28th, 2018 by · Leave a Comment

After yesterday’s look at the North American network markets, let’s take a jaunt through a few of the infrastructure deals around the world.  I don’t cover every market and certainly don’t claim this to be comprehensive, but this is a quick sampling of what I kept an eye on at least.

There was one pan-European fiber M&A this year. GTT surprised many (me at least) by stepping up to buy Interoute, giving itself a continent-wide dark fiber presence. They also filled things out a bit more with a deal for Custom Connect.

But GTT wasn’t the only infrastructure rollup player at work in Europe. We saw a new face take aim at the wholesale international voice space in Tofane Global. Tofane first acquired the relevant pieces of Altice Global and then took aim at the KPN division iBasis. Another relatively new consolidation platform that continued to add assets to its portfolio was the Italian player IRIDEOS, which bought out Enter.  Another bit of consolidation took place in Latvia, where RETN acquired the metro fiber player OPTRON.

There were many significant moves by private equity in the internet infrastructure world. Amancio Ortega’s Pontegadea bought a 1/6 stake in Pontel Participaciones, which then owns 60% of Telxius alongside KKR.  Perhaps most recently, Infracapital took a 50% stake in SSE Enterprise Telecoms.  Also in the UK, a consortium led by Antin and Goldman Sachs took CityFibre private.  Antin made another fiber move with the acquisition of Ufinet Spain, taking over from Cinven and giving Eurofiber some company.  The other half of Ufinet over in Latin America was then later bought by Enel.  and Telefonica found another buyer for a piece of its international cable & tower division, Telxius. Altice Europe sold off a piece of its SFR FTTH business to a consortium led by Allianz Capital, and AXA. Expereo was bought out by Apax Partners.  And the Australian investment bank Macquarie muscled its way into a deal for TDC.

We also saw some big global names make moves. Vodafone finally got a piece of Liberty Global, buying cable footprints in Germany and eastern Europe.  Meanwhile, Vodafone Australia took aim at a merger with TPG, although that may yet face obstacles.   Also down under, Telstra decided to buy into Southern Cross, which will use the investment to power its nextgen cable build from the region up to the US West Coast.

Other than that Enel/Ufinet deal, there were a few other infrastructure M&As in Latin America worth noting, specifically in the data center space by US-based REITs. Digital Realty increased its footprint in the region with a deal for Ascenty. And CyrusOne decided to take its own stab at South America by buying a 10% stake in ODATA Brasil.

And then of course there’s India, where the Rcom/Jio/Ericsson/Sistema soap opera continues unabated, but let’s not go down that rabbit hole.

What else happened out there that I should have been paying attention to?  Leave a comment below and I’ll chime in.

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Categories: Datacenter · Fiber Networks · Mergers and Acquisitions

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