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Fibre M&A opportunities ‘building up’ in Europe, Metro Connect delegates hear

Metro Connect panel.jpg

Opportunities are building up for European mergers and acquisitions in the fibre market, a senior banker told the Metro Connect conference today.

Michiel Strater, a managing director of ING and its global telecoms lead, told the event in Amsterdam: “So far ING has been very successful in the telecoms and technology sector. We’re in it for the long haul.”

But he contrasted Europe with the US market, where “there is more certainty about each player”.

Another member of the same panel, Warren Roll, an investment banker who is now managing director at Digital Colony, told the conference: “There’s a lot of new entrants [in Europe] and a lot of experience, and now the multiples are going up dramatically.” But he lamented the lack of knowledge some infrastructure investors know about the telecoms sector. Investments “require a lot of attention,” he said.

Strater, who was being questioned by Andrew Lipman, senior partner in the telecoms practice with the law firm Morgan, Lewis and Bockius, said: “There are so many opportunities in the European market and M&A will always be a part of this. There are plenty of opportunities.”

Roll warned that investors are not going to spend money “just because the flavour of the month is Europe”. He added: “There’s a pretty big sandbox [in Europe] and a lot of opportunities.”

How many acquisitions are enough, Lipman asked him. “I thought it was [enough] a year ago, but I’d have made a big mistake. It’s not too late. The customers are looking for network infill.”

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