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23 Apr 2019, Stella Zlatareva, EMIS M&A Team

March's Top Deals per region

Emerging Europe

Consolidation in Russia’s telecommunications sector was the rationale behind the largest deal in Emerging Europe last month. As part of it, state-controlled fixed-line telco Rostelecom agreed to buy the 55% it does not own of domestic mobile operator T2 RTK (Tele2 Russia) for an estimated EUR 1.4bn. A portion of the consideration could be paid in Rostelecom shares, according to a government official. Tele2 Russia is the nation’s fourth largest mobile carrier, providing 4G services to more than 40 million clients in 65 Russian regions.

Africa and the Middle East

In a highly anticipated move, U.S. ride-hailing giant Uber announced a USD 3.1bn deal to snap up Dubai-based rival Careem. The takeover will maintain Careem’s operational autonomy and brand while giving Uber a stronger foothold in the Middle East. After a series of misfortunes in non-US markets where Uber was forced to sell its operations, the deal is a success for the buyer because of the potential source of growth. At said valuation, the acquisition is also a record for a start-up exit in the Middle East.

Latin America and the Caribbean

After starring in one of January’s largest deals in the region, Carlos Slim’s America Movil struck the top acquisition in Latin America in March. For an enterprise value of USD 905mn, the Mexican telco is buying Brazilian peer Nextel Telecomunicacoes, thus granting its local subsidiary Claro with mobile network capacity and subscribers, particularly in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo.

Emerging Asia

The largest deal in Emerging Asia was yet another move in the telecoms sector where Indian major Bharti Airtel raised USD 4.45bn. Singapore Telecommunications (Singtel), a promoter of Bharti, is subscribing to the capital increase and will become the largest single investor in the company with a 35.5% stake. The Indian firm plans to use the proceeds to invest in future network rollouts in a highly competitive market.

Original source: EMIS - DealWatch