Huawei denied reports it was considering a joint move with China Mobile to acquire debt-laden Brazilian operator Oi’s mobile business, which reportedly could be sold to raise funds.
In a statement viewed by Mobile World Live, the Chinese vendor said it had “no plans or interest in acquiring Oi” or any other Brazilian operator, noting it works with all the major operators in the country.
Huawei was responding to a report by O Globo stating the vendor was mulling a move for Oi, with the Chinese companies tipped to be interested in the operator’s fibre assets and opportunities in 5G.
In February, reports emerged investment companies with large stakes in Oi were considering selling off its mobile operation to focus on its fibre operations.
Oi, which GSMA Intelligence (GSMAi) figures for Q2 shows is the fourth-largest mobile operator in Brazil by connections, is holding talks about a possible sale with rivals Telefonica and Telecom Italia. Reuters last week reported AT&T and an un-named Chinese business were also in the frame.
The Brazilian operator is also reportedly considering other measures to improve its dwindling cash reserves, such as taking on additional debt and trying to accelerate a sale of its stake in Angolan operator Unitel.
Oi’s mobile division is thought to be worth around BRL10 billion ($2.4 billion).
The same GSMAi figures placed Telefonica Brazil (which trades as Vivo) as the country’s largest operator on 73.3 million connections, followed by America Movil brand Claro and TIM Brasil, each on around 56 million.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back