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Mobile towers M&A and outsourcing deals predicted across Europe and Africa

Mobile infrastructure M&A and outsourcing deals are set to increase across Europe and Africa in the year ahead, say telecom experts, who are meeting in London to discuss the latest sector opportunities and strategies at TMT M&A Forum 2013 on March 14

PRLog - Feb. 25, 2013 - Telecom experts are forecasting a surge in mobile infrastructure deals this year, as more operators around the world look to streamline operations and raise capital by selling off and outsourcing mobile tower portfolios.  

Telecom chiefs and sector heads of leading finance and advisory businesses are meeting in London on March 14 for TMT M&A Forum 2013, to discuss the latest opportunities and strategies.

“There has been a tremendous amount of activity in the infrastructure sector around the world since last year's conference, in particular in Western Europe,” commented expert telecom adviser John Graham, partner at Clifford Chance, who will be chairing the Mobile Infrastructure Panel at the conference.

“A number of major carriers executed market first sale leaseback transactions in Western Europe during 2012, including Telefonica in Spain, Bouygues in France and E-Plus in Germany. Other carriers can be expected to follow.  In Uganda alone, three (MTN, Orange and Warid) of the four carriers sold their towers during 2012,” said Graham.

Declining voice revenues will continue for operators, forcing tough decisions ahead, said Eric Benedict, Managing Director, Alix Partners, who is chairing the CFO Round Table at the TMT M&A Forum. “The rollout of LTE and ongoing high levels of capex spend will still need to be financed, putting pressure on the ability generate historic levels of cashflow. Looking forward, the key trends for the sector will continue to be the sharing or outsourcing of infrastructure assets, asset disposals, as well as refinancing in the buoyant bond and high yield markets to lower costs of capital,” he said.    

“With EBITDA margins expected to continue to move down, operators will have to take more costs out and develop smarter ways of pricing to reflect the real underlying profitability of customer segments, products and services. Operators will need to follow other sectors that have been through similar restructuring challenges and look at where they focus. This will require them to be even more disciplined in investment decisions going forward” said Benedict.

Also joining the CFO Round Table session are: Wolfgang Kniese, CFO, T-Mobile Austria; Andres de Orleans Borbon, CFO, Helios Towers Africa; Catherine Birkett, Chief Financial Officer, Interoute; and

Khalid Ellaicy, Group CFO, Orascom Telecom Holding.

For the full TMT M&A Forum 2013 programme go to http://www.tmtfinance.com/merger/programme

The TMT M&A Forum brings together leading executives, advisers, investors and financiers from across the world to discuss the latest opportunities for transactions and partnerships.

To register to attend go to http://www.tmtfinance.com/merger/register/

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