AT&T-Mobile deal is big, but how big?

Mar 21, 2011

Dan Primack was a senior editor at Fortune from 2010 to 2016. He was also the author of Term Sheet, Fortune's daily newsletter about deals and dealmakers.

Thomson Reuters has sent over some data on where AT&T's (T) planned $39 billion purchase of T-Mobile ranks in the annals of mergers and acquisitions:

* It is the year's second-largest M&A transaction, behind only AIG's $59 billion restructuring. And, since that AIG deal doesn't really deserve to qualify as M&A, I say that AT&T-Mobile stands atop the 2011 leader-board (at least for now).

* It is the largest telecom M&A transaction since 2006, when AT&T bought BellSouth for $89.4 billion. That said, global telecom M&A is off last year's pace by around 4% (in terms of dollars) -- which makes it the only declining M&A sector in 2010.

* Overall, it is the 12th-largest telecom M&A of all time. It comes in just above Pacific Century CyberWorks buying Cable & Wireless HK in 2000 for $35.55 billion, and just below France Telecom buying Orange in 2000 for $39.67 billion. The all-time leader is Vodafone buying Mannesmann in 1999 for $202 billion.

* Its $3 billion reverse breakup fee is the third-largest in history, behind only AOL/Time Warner ($5.4 billion) and Pfizer/Wyeth ($4.5 billion).

* Its $20 billion bridge loan from JPMorgan is the second-largest bridge loan since 2000.

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