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SoftBank-backed serial acquirer Sinch eyes further M&A

Sam Nussey
·2-min read

By Sam Nussey

TOKYO (Reuters) - SoftBank-backed cloud platform provider Sinch AB, which is gaining a reputation as a serial acquirer, is eyeing further deals, its chief executive told Reuters, days after announcing its latest billion-dollar acquisition.

"We have an active M&A agenda and that still stands going forward, assuming we find good targets at good prices," Sinch Chief Executive Oscar Werner said in an interview.

Sinch, which offers a messaging, voice and video platform for companies to communicate with customers, last week announced a $1.14 billion all-cash acquisition of communications firm Inteliquent, part of a flurry of deals in the United States, Latin America and Asia.

"It's a size game and a tech shift game that is driving the consolidation," said Werner.

Sinch's share price has risen by about 50% since SoftBank investment arm SB Northstar bought a 10% stake in the firm in November, extending a rally that saw the stock become Europe's best-performing last year as the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated uptake of its products.

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The stake deal brought together perennial dealmaker SoftBank Group Corp with Stockholm-based Sinch, which is driving consolidation in the cloud communications industry to compete with U.S. rival Twilio Inc.

"In these markets you need strong international owners with access to lots of capital, a lot of connections," Werner said.

Sinch's rising share price in bullish markets for technology stocks comes as SoftBank executive Akshay Naheta, a rising power in the Japanese conglomerate's hierarchy, spearheads the group's placing of cash reserves in public stocks.

Werner hopes SoftBank will back Sinch's merger-and-acquisition activity, which, with its core business cash-generative, has been the focus of fundraising such as last November's stake sale.

Sinch last week reported quarterly sales doubled on year.

"Integration capacity is the most limiting factor" for further deals, Werner said.

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(Reporting by Sam Nussey; Editing by Christopher Cushing)