Telecom Italia’s Brazilian subsidiary TIM Participacoes teamed with Telefonica Brasil and Claro to bid for bankrupt Oi Group’s mobile assets, a move tipped to contribute to the competitiveness of the industry.
In a statement, Telecom Italia confirmed the binding offer for the assets, with its interest in the acquisition mooted for some time.
As part of the offer, the three companies asked Oi for the right to match any rival bids which come in as part of the competitive process.
In its own statement, Oi confirmed “third party binding proposals” had been received, although it did not disclose details.
Reuters reported it had received a second offer and added Oi will not only choose the winner based on price, but also on which bid has the potential to secure regulatory approval faster.
Sources told the news agency the second bid came from an overseas player which currently has a small presence in Brazil. America Movil has reportedly been interested in making the acquisition.
Debt-ridden Oi filed for bankruptcy protection in 2016.
It will use the funds from the mobile asset sale to fund its broadband and fibre business, as well as reduce debt as it strives to exit bankruptcy protection.
Separately, the company said it had received a $200.1 million binding offer for its tower unit from Brazilian infrastructure company Highline.