Telecom Italia put back to 25 September the deadline for completing the $960 million sale of its stake in Telecom Argentina to Mexican financier David Martinez’s Fintech investment fund, as the deal hangs on for regulatory approval.
Three weeks ago, the Italian operator pushed back completion of the sale until 1 September from 12 August. Now it has shifted again.
Bloomberg said the delay would allow more time for regulatory approval, citing people familiar with the matter, although it did not give a reason why more time was needed.
Other media reports also cited regulatory issues behind the delay and pointed to Fintech’s ownership of cable assets in the country as a potential obstacle.
Although the deadline has been extended, the existing terms and conditions, which were agreed last year, remain in place.
Fintech agreed to pay $860 million for Telecom Italia’s 68 per cent holding in the company that controls Telecom Argentina, as well as a direct minority stake. An additional $100 million covers agreements including services for the carrier.
Disposing of the Argentina stake is an important part of the Italian operator’s asset sale strategy as it looks to reduce its debts.
Elsewhere in the region, its focus is expansion as it looks to strengthen its presence in Brazil but appears to have lost out to Telefonica in a bid for GVT.