Magazine article Global Finance

Telecom Mergers Cap $1.9 Trillion Year

Magazine article Global Finance

Telecom Mergers Cap $1.9 Trillion Year

Article excerpt

Telecom mergers on both sides of the Atlantic contributed to the biggest deal total on record for December, with more than $300 billion of global M&A transactions announced in the final month of 2004, according to Thomson Financial.

The strongest-ever year-end period for worldwide M&A brought the total for 2004 to $1.95 trillion, a 40% increase from 2003. US deal volume rose 46% in 2004 to $833 billion.

The pace of mergers last year was fueled by continued consolidation in the financial services industry, renewed deal activity among telecom service providers and resurgence in leveraged buyout transactions, says Richard Peterson, chief market strategist at New York-based Thomson Financial.

Goldman Sachs continued as the leading financial adviser for announced worldwide M&A transactions in 2004 for the seventh consecutive year. JPMorgan was second, and Citigroup was third.

The biggest merger announced in December, with a rank value of $46.5 billion, was the proposed union of Sprint and Nextel Communications to create a new major wireless phone company in the US, to be known as Sprint Nextel.

Sprint already was third-largest wireless phone company in the US behind Verizon Wireless and Cingular Wireless.

Last August, Cingular, which is a joint venture of BellSouth and SBC Communications, completed its $47.5 billion acquisition of AT&T Wireless Services.

The biggest merger announced in Europe in December was Telecom Italia's tender offer and stock-swap transaction to acquire the remaining 45% stake it did not already own in Telecom Italia Mobile. …

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