Middle Eastern telecoms operators will continue to expand international footprints and domestic portfolios
The international expansion of Middle Eastern telecoms operators could continue in 2024, fuelled by their strong balance sheets, availability of telecoms investment opportunities in Europe and beyond, as well as the positive geopolitical backing to diversify and expand Middle Eastern economies.
Recent investments by e& in Vodafone Group and Yettel/PPF, and STC in Telefónica will be seen as the first wave of investments in international telecoms operators. While the short-term aim will be to seek potentially lucrative valuations, some longer-term plays may look at operational synergies and/or full-scale mergers and acquisitions.
While internationally, the M&A investments seem focused on traditional telecoms operator groups, domestically and regionally the Middle Eastern operators will look to continue their transformation from ‘TelCo’ to ‘TechCos’, as they continue investing in both consumer digital services companies and enterprise-focused IT services companies.
Analysys Mason, with its unparalleled experience in cross-border operator M&A, as well as in consumer and enterprise digital investments, and global footprint of 17 offices, is uniquely placed to continue supporting this wave of M&A.