Telco merger mania lifts a gear

This week’s new round of bidding for iiNet is all about a telco land grab before the NBN becomes a reality. Here’s how it works for investors.

Summary: Local broadband companies will continue to engage in a land grab for customers as the NBN is built. TPG has made a fresh takeover bid for rival iiNet, trumping a previous offer from M2 Group. But there’s a better than even chance M2 will counter the bid again. TPG has also increased its stake in Amcom Telecommunications, which was set to merge with Vocus Communications, as a plan B.

Key take-out: If M2 wins the battle for IIN, TPG will want to acquire as many smaller telcos as possible before the NBN is complete. Alternative targets like AMM are unlikely to stay independent for long.

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