UK telecommunications company Zegona Communications PLC's acquisition of Vodafone Group PLC's Spanish business topped European M&A activity in October.
Zegona entered into a binding agreement Oct. 31 to buy Vodafone Holdings Europe SLU from its parent company. The transaction is valued at €5 billion and is expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2024.
For Zegona, which specializes in buying and turning around telecoms businesses, the deal is the largest to date but not its first in Spain. It acquired the entirety of Spanish telco TeleCable de Asturias SAU for €640 million in 2015 and sold it almost two years later to Euskaltel SA for about €690 million while also taking a stake in the latter.
In 2021, Zegona generated €428 million from the sale of its shares in Euskaltel to MásMóvil Ibercom SA.
The Vodafone deal helped drive a 14.9% month-over-month increase in activity by value in October, with €30.0 billion of transactions recorded, S&P Global Market Intelligence data shows.
Yet deal volumes were lower on both a monthly and annual basis, continuing a weak year for M&A. Every month of 2023 has seen a lower volume and value of deals than the equivalent period the year before, Market Intelligence data shows.
US-based Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc.'s offer to acquire Swedish life sciences business Olink Holding AB (publ) from an investor group including Summa Equity AB for €2.96 billion was the second-biggest deal of the month.
Other notable transactions included Schaeffler AG's €1.61 billion bid for a 50.1% stake in fellow German auto-parts maker Vitesco Technologies Group AG and US asset manager Apollo Global Management Inc.'s offer to acquire UK hospitality chain The Restaurant Group PLC for about €1.25 billion.
– Access the deal profile page for the Zegona-Vodafone transaction.
– Access M&A data using the transaction screener.