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14 May 2015
Johannesburg, May 14, 2015 -- Africa's telecoms sector will undergo more M&A activity as its
markets continue to consolidate as they mature, Moody's Investors
Service says in a report published today.
The report "M&A Activity to Reshape Competitive Environment As Markets
Mature and Consolidate", is now available on www.moodys.com.
Moody's subscribers can access this report via the link at the end of
this press release. The research is an update to the markets and
does not constitute a rating action.
Moody's expects more consolidation within markets as existing operators
- particularly smaller third or fourth tier companies -
look for ways to cut costs and expand their market share. The African
telecoms market is comprised of a mix of local, regional and international
operators, some of whom have developed competitive regional footprints.
Those African countries with four or more operators or with telecom companies
that have a market share of less than 15% are likely to see more
consolidation. The average number of operators in each African
country is three, with some countries, such as Uganda,
Côte d'Ivoire and Tanzania, with six operators.
"Not all countries are able to support a large number of operators,
and smaller wireless operators are finding it increasingly difficult to
compete and increase their market share profitably," says
Dion Bate, Vice President -- Senior Analyst and a co-author
of the report.
"Companies considering potential mergers or acquisitions will be
hoping for cost savings through improved economies of scale and the opportunity
to apply uniform and improved branding, service and product offerings."
Some operators will need funding to pursue M&A opportunities.
With many of the larger international operators already facing revenue
pressures and capital expenditure demands in their core domestic markets
and thus less likely to pursue M&A opportunities in Africa,
we may see some revisiting their African footprints as others seek to
strengthen their regional positions.
This refocusing on domestic markets may also result in some European operators
leaving African markets where they have smaller shares, the report
Some smaller regional players may face weaker access to capital as a result
of concentrated exposures to mostly sub investment-grade countries
in south, east and west Africa where capital markets are less developed.
Cross-market consolidation will be less challenging for the larger
regional operators to pursue where greater geographic diversification
and sizable market shares can be achieved, the report adds.
From a regulatory standpoint, operators with the third or fourth
largest market share are more likely to be subject to M&A activity
to which regulators are less likely to object where it results in economies
of scale and increased profitability while not being a detriment to the
competitive environment. We expect regulators to also favour transactions
that support market stability and further capital investment and the expansion
of service offerings. In-market M&A consolidation transactions
which result in the largest operators further strengthening their market
positions are more likely to face regulatory scrutiny.
Africa's telecoms regulators are expected to increasingly promote
market competition and improved network quality, in line with a
trend seen in more developed markets.
Operators will also try to contain cost pressures through strategies such
as network sharing, tower sales and outsourcing to specialised third
Subscribers can access this report via this link: http://www.moodys.com/viewresearchdoc.aspx?docid=PBC_1004556
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Vice President - Senior Analyst
Corporate Finance Group
Moody's Investors Service South Africa (Pty) Ltd.
2 Maude Street
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MD - Corporate Finance
Corporate Finance Group
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Moody's: Africa's maturing telecoms sector to see further M&A activity
Moody's Investors Service South Africa (Pty) Ltd.
2 Maude Street
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454
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