China Mobile joined rival China Telecom in expressing an interest in troubled operator Oi, comments made by the head of Brazil’s telecoms regulator Anatel indicated.
Speaking at an event yesterday (29 November), Anatel president Juarez Quadros named China Mobile as possible investor in Oi, making it the second Chinese operator to be linked to the struggling Brazilian company.
The story was broken by Brazilian publication Valor Economico.
Earlier this month Reuters reported China Telecom was eyeing a $6 billion deal to acquire a majority stake in Oi, which is facing ongoing debt issues. The Chinese operator and US private equity company TPG Capital reportedly met with government officials to discuss a possible takeover.
Details of China Mobile’s reported interest remain sparse, but the company was previously linked with Oi and apparently met with Anatel in September.
In his comments, Quadros also named China Development Bank as another potential investor. The financial institution is currently one of Oi’s creditors.
News of potential Chinese investment comes after Oi was thrown into further disarray following the resignation of CEO Marco Schroeder earlier this week.
Schroeder left his post two weeks before a crunch meeting of creditors to decide the fate of the Brazilian operator.
Bloomberg reported the CEO’s departure was prompted by a row with the board over the “slow pace” of the company’s emergence from bankruptcy protection.
Oi’s board is currently thrashing out a debt restructuring plan, ahead of a crunch meeting, which has been pushed back from 7 December to 19 December.