Telecoms M&A in India is going to play a highly significant role in the development of the telecom sector over the course of the next two years, said Chris Stanford-Beale, Partner and Global Head of Transaction Support, Analysys Mason, who will be making a keynote speech on M&A Opportunities and Constraints. The main players are constrained from making acquisitions and mergers at this time but it is essential that they have strategies in place to ensure they can play a lead role in the market as it moves to a consolidation phase.
There are currently more than 12 mobile operators in India, making it one of the most crowded markets globally. However a new round of spectrum licence auctions in November is intended to begin the process of opening up the market. Acquisitions and spin offs are also expected.
Some bankers are predicting US$6bn of transactions in Indian telecoms within a year, with several times that expected the following year, if the regulatory and economic environment stabilises. said Dominic Lowndes, Managing Editor of TMT Finance News. Larger deals discussed at present include the sale of Aircel to Sistema of Russia, the merger of BSNL and MTNL, and the spin-off of towers infrastructure by Bharti, Reliance and BSNL.