Proximus strengthens its CPaaS presence with a $722 million acquisition of Route Mobile

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Proximus, the Belgian telecoms group, is making a significant move to strengthen its position in the Communication Platform-as-a-Service (CPaaS) sector by investing over $700 million in a majority stake of India’s Route Mobile. The deal is being facilitated through Proximus Opal, the arm that holds the group’s US-based CPaaS business, Telesign. As part of the agreement, Proximus will acquire a 57.56% stake in Route Mobile for 59.2 billion rupees in cash, equivalent to around €643 million or $722 million.

This investment will trigger a mandatory takeover offer under Indian regulations, allowing Proximus to potentially acquire an additional 26% of Route Mobile’s outstanding shares at the same per-share price. Depending on the uptake, Proximus could ultimately secure a stake of around 75%, bringing the total investment value close to $1 billion. To further solidify the deal, some of Route Mobile’s founding shareholders will invest €299.6 million in Proximus Opal in exchange for a stake of up to 14.5%.

This deal is said to be all about Telesign, and boosting Proximus’s CPaaS presence. It has been working hard to build up its business in CPaaS and digital identity via Telesign and this acquisition gives it some valuable additional scale. Proximus notes that together Route Mobile and Telesign generate annual revenues of around €900 million. Proximus anticipates that this acquisition will position the Proximus Group as the third-largest player in the global CPaaS market in terms of messaging volume. Additionally, Proximus expects to enhance its CPaaS portfolio by leveraging Route Mobile’s omnichannel capabilities, particularly in the area of AI-based customer engagement.

Route Mobile’s core footprint covers the Indian subcontinent, Africa, Asia-Pacific and Latin America, while Telesign mainly serves Europe and North America. Together, the firms cover more than 200 countries and territories.

“As Proximus Group welcomes Route Mobile to the family, we are encouraged by the opportunities it will bring us as we focus on expanding our global reach and meeting our customers’ digital identity and messaging needs,” added Telesign’s current chief executive, Joe Burton.

Meanwhile, Proximus Group CEO Guillaume Boutin focused on how the deal fits with the telco’s ongoing strategic plan, bold2025. The plan covers Proximus’ growth ambitions both in Belgium and overseas, through BICS and Telesign along with customer engagement and carbon-reduction targets.

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