This IDC Perspective provides an overview and analysis of telecom and cable service provider network M&A deals disclosed in 2020. The document is limited to M&A deals in which the acquirer would take operational control of the target company as well as few high-profile strategic investments.

According to Ragupathy Vellappa, associate research manager, IDC's Worldwide Telecommunications Research, "Despite the impact of COVID-19 pandemic, the year 2020 was healthy for telecom and cable service providers M&As. The overall deal value has skyrocketed from $45.7 billion in 2019 to $71.3 billion in 2020. The top 3 deals (strategic investments secured by Reliance Jio Platforms, Stonepeak's buyout of TPG's Astound Broadband, and Liberty Global's purchase of Sunrise Communications) accounted for 50% of total deal value in 2020. Private equities' continued interest in telecom assets, companies' drive for scale and balanced converged assets, and telco's divestiture strategy were the key factors driving 2020 M&As, and the same will propel 2021 M&As activities. The sale proceeds from telco's divestiture are redirected toward next-generation network investments (including 5G, fiber deployments, AR/VR, and IoT platforms), as well as to strengthen their balance sheet."



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