Wednesday , 14 November 2018
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Last week in telecoms: M&A positive for Veon, negative for Inmarsat and Altice

Last week in telecoms: M&A positive for Veon, negative for Inmarsat and Altice

Last week’s share price performances were positive enough to bring our European telecoms index back to a level we hadn’t seen since the middle of May. Veon was the absolute winner, followed by Turk Telekom (+12%). The three Belgain shares in our basket showed strong recovery from recent weakness: Telenet (+12%), Proximus (+7.7%) and Orange BE (+6.9%). We also recorded some double digit losses, for Telekom Slovenije, Inmarsat and Polish Play Communications (-11%).

M&A

Veon (+20%) took advantage of some portfolio management. The company is set to be bought out from the Italian venture Wind Tre by fellow shareholder CK Hutchison (+1.1%) and is looking at expanding in Asia. Inmarsat (-12%) said no to EchoStar’s raised offer, upon which EchoStar walked away. More M&A news came from Portugal, where Altice (-5.9%) was said to be considering the sale of its local asset, Portugal Telecom. Altice however denied the rumour. The company also denied considering the sale of its French asset, SFR, but competitor Bouygues (+2.8%) appeared willing to take part in market consolidation.

Smaller deals

Smaller M&A deals included TalkTalk (+7.1%) abandoning the planned sale of its direct B2B business. After the close, during the weekend, some of its directors came under fire over the way they handled an equity placing earlier this year. German challenger Freenet (+2.8%) acquired a stake in retail chain MediaMarktSaturn, and Swisscom (+3.6%) acquired a stake in a marketing company.

Telekom Slovenije (-15%) suffered from news of S&P planning a lowering of its rating. Year-to-date, Intelsat (+431%) extended its lead, with Altice (+153%) still the runner-up.

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