Friday, April 9, 2010
Global Telecom World Currently Awash With Mergers & Acquisitions
What common thread is driving these activities? A recent round of service provider benchmarking analysis provides some answers. With telecoms market growth rates declining and not forecast to return to previous levels, organic growth is proving to be more difficult for some companies, and virtually impossible for others. There are some clear consequences.
Aggressive growth-oriented companies that are determined to bulk up and join the ranks of the largest operators are having to rely more on acquisitions – Bharti is a perfect example. Other companies, such as Deutsche Telekom, have already diversified geographically, but are under increasing pressure to improve financial performance, and are focusing on cost savings and margin improvement. In the middle sits Telefonica which has historically grown through aggressive international expansion, but which has managed to maintain above average profit margins. It can afford to seek out further acquisitions without incurring the wrath of investors.
'The natural urge to maximise growth and gain global market share remains, but is now tempered by a need to focus more on profit margins,' said TeleGeography’s John Dinsdale. 'While it may be counterintuitive, many of the world’s largest service providers have among the lowest margins, which restricts their M&A options. Expect the bolder acquisitions to come from smaller operators and those whose actions are not constrained by unhappy shareholders,' he added.
TeleGeography’s service provider benchmarking research includes analysis of revenues, profitability, subscribers, ARPU, growth rates, geographic footprint, market share, competitive positioning and future growth prospects. It is published as part of TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Insight service which is a companion to the GlobalComms Database, a regularly updated online database of wireline, wireless and broadband competition. No other telecoms market research service rivals their collective geographic scope and depth of coverage.