Significant M&A activity in the technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) sector could trigger further consolidation in the industry, according to Daniel Reis, PLMJ partner and head of the firm’s TMT practice.
“From a market perspective, the acquisition of MEO by Altice and the upcoming divestiture of Cabovisão and ONI as a consequence of this acquisition is clearly the biggest event of the year and the major development in the TMT market,” he says.
Reis believes that the transaction has a great deal of significance in terms of its impact on future TMT market activity. “Altice paid €7.4 billion for MEO to acquire the company from its owner, Brazil-based Oi, so it is a benchmark deal that has a great amount of potential,” he says. “It is still unclear what Altice will do in Portugal, but it is possible there will be more M&A activity in this sector.”
The TMT market has been given an additional boost by the sale of Altice’s Portuguese cable operator Cabovisão and Oni, which is a condition of the MEO deal. It was announced in September that private equity firm Apax France will acquire the businesses for an undisclosed sum.
It is also anticipated that there will be an increase in other types of TMT work, such as data protection and security-related matters. “Data protection is a big issue at the moment and there was a recent high-profile case in August when Constitutional Court judges blocked legislative proposals related to access to private data,” Reis says. “Companies also need to be aware of national and EU regulations – indeed, uncertainty regarding cybersecurity, data breaches and increasing regulation in these areas are the main concerns we are hearing from clients.”