The long-running saga surrounding the future of troubled Brazil operator Oi’s mobile business finally concluded with the completion of the sale of its assets to local units of Telecom Italia, Telefonica and America Movil.
Aspects of Oi’s mobile business have been split between Telecom Italia-owned TIM Brasil, Telefonica’s Vivo unit and America Movil’s Claro. The trio have paid a total of around BRL15.9 billion ($3.4 billion).
In a stock market statement, Oi confirmed the completion of the deal and final adjusted sum, which took into account the base price of the transaction and foreign exchange movements since the deal was struck.
Individual statements from the three buyers show Telecom Italia paid around BRL7 billion, Telefonica BRL5.3 billion and America Movil BRL3.6 billion for the assets, and committed to BRL188 million for a year of transition services from Oi.
Regulators Cade and Anatel cleared the deal in February, though slapped various conditions to their final approval.
In its announcement, Telecom Italia said the conclusion of the agreement brought “a new infrastructural balance in the Brazilian market”, noting the three remaining major operators would provide “a high level of competition, customer benefits, and adequate investment for the development of telecommunications infrastructure and the digitalisation of the country”.
In its stock market disclosure America Movil pointed to the opportunity to create growth and operating efficiencies from the now expanded Claro unit.
The deal and Oi’s exit from the mobile market have been far from straightforward and has taken some time.
Brazil’s regulators faced a backdrop of pleas from detractors to block the sale. Approval for the trio to buy and split the assets had been ongoing since the conclusion of an auction in 2020, which itself followed years of uncertainty since debt-laden Oi filed for bankruptcy protection in 2016.