America Movil has reportedly approached a number of mobile operator groups about the possibility of offloading assets in Mexico for up to $17.5 billion.
Bloomberg sources said the company has contacted US number two AT&T, Japan’s SoftBank, Canada’s Bell Mobility and China Mobile.
The Latin American operator group is apparently looking to sell infrastructure located in a row of states along Mexico’s east coast, with the assets potentially valued at between five and seven times EBITDA of $2.5 billion, equating to as much as $17.5 billion.
America Movil has not yet invited formal bids as it has only provided preliminary information to the prospective acquirers.
The Carlos Slim-controlled operator group is looking to sell assets in Mexico, its largest market, after profits were hit by limitations imposed by regulators to curb its dominance. The group holds a 70 per cent mobile market share in Mexico and 80 per cent share for landlines.
In July, America Movil announced its decision to reduce national market share below 50 per cent through the sale of assets.
Daniel Hajj, CEO of the company, said in a recent conference call that the asset sales should bring about greater competition in Mexico. He also alluded to a plan to spin off wireless towers.
The company has been acquiring businesses in Europe to offset the pressure it faces to reduce its dominance in Mexico. As part of this, it took a controlling stake in Telekom Austria in July.
It is also reportedly in talks with Brazilian integrated operator Oi and Telefonica to launch a joint bid for TIM Participacoes, the Brazilian mobile business controlled by Telecom Italia.