2018 is on pace to be a record-breaking year for corporate consolidation. In the first three quarters of 2018, companies around the world announced merger & acquisition deals worth “a total of $3.3 trillion, the most since record keeping began nearly four decades ago.”
Deals announced involving American companies in the first nine months of the year were worth over $3.3 trillion – more than 40 percent of all global M&A activity and more than the total value of deals in four other continents combined.
These mergers & acquisitions varied in multiple industries, but today, let’s take a look at the top 10 telecommunications M&A that occurred over the last year and caused quite a stir in the industry.
The Telecommunications M&A Countdown
Merger mania has taken hold of the telecommunications industry. The influx of news around planned and completed mergers and acquisitions just keeps coming this year as carriers and cable providers seek to expand their footprints and grow their base of customers and business customers. It’s a balancing act of giving the customer what they want but also staying true to the company values/goals and increasing profit.
Many service providers are actively building up their content portfolios via acquisitions in an effort to compete with the streaming content providers that are taking the market by storm and gaining new customers hand over fist. At the same time, the FCC is causing many in the industry to believe it is easier for carriers to join forces making it a win-win for both sides.
Let’s take a look at the top 10 M&A’s starting from smallest acquisition and/or merger to the largest.
- Zayo Buys Neutral Path Communications, Near North Partners for $31.5 Million
Bandwidth and co-location provider Zayo Group has been busy the last three years scooping up connectivity and data center assets from fellow telecom service providers. In January, Zayo bought all assets of Neutral Path Communications for $31.5 million.
- Windstream Buys Mass Communications for $37.5 Million
Windstream bought Mass Communications for $37.5 million in April and is now offering a broader range of custom voice, networking, and global cloud solutions.
- Fusion Buys MegaPath for $71.5 Million
Fusion Telecommunications in May revealed a definitive agreement to purchase MegaPath for $71.5 million. Together the two companies will be better positioned to compete in the service provider market with Unified Communications as a Service security.
- Private Equity Firm Buys Horizon Telecom for $220 Million
Novacap revealed its intent to buy fiber infrastructure provider Horizon Telecom in January for $220 million.
- Globalstar, Fiberlight Merge in $1.65 Billion Deal
Satellite communications provider Globalstar revealed plans in April to come together with telecom network provider FiberLight in a $1.65 billion deal that would combine satellite, wireless, and fixed broadband assets,
- Verizon Closes Straight Path Deal for $3.1 Billion
After a back-and-forth battle with competing carrier AT&T, Verizon completed its purchase of wireless spectrum holder Straight Path Communications for $3.1 billion in an all-stock transaction.
- T-Mobile Plans to Buy Sprint for $26.5 Billion
T-Mobile and Sprint, the third & fourth biggest wireless providers in the U.S. respectively, are plotting their third merger attempt.
- Comcast offers $39 billion for British Broadcaster Sky Takeover
British Broadcaster Sky has recommended its shareholders accept an offer from Comcast for $40 billion takeover. Comcast outflanked rival Twenty-First Century Fox with its $40 billion takeover offer December 15, 2018 in a rare three-round auction that pitted two of America’s largest media companies against one another.
- Disney, 21st Century Fox Shareholders Vote to Approve $71.3 Billion Merger
Shareholders of 21st Century Fox and Disney voted to approve Disney’s $71.3 billion buyout of major Fox assets back in July. The deal is set to go into motion early 2019.
- AT&T Closes $85.4 Billion Time Warner Acquisition
Perhaps the most high-profile tech merger of the year, AT&T finally closed its acquisition of Time Warner for $85.4 billion following a long legal battle with the U.S. Justice Department.
These mergers & acquisitions were some of the most prominent in the telecommunications industry this year. A few of these deals are still in the works to take full-effect in 2019.
It has been a year of content sharing, content creating, providers merging, but all in all an exciting 2018; here’s to a prosperous 2019 for cable providers and customers!