America Movil targets consolidation in Brazil and Argentina - Mobile World Live

America Movil targets consolidation in Brazil and Argentina

23 MAR 2010

Latin American operator giant America Movil has hinted it is looking at making further acquisitions in Brazil and Argentina. “We may pursue further market consolidation in Brazil and Argentina depending on their terms and conditions,” the Mexico-headquartered firm said in a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, reports Bloomberg. However, the company warned that it “can give no assurance as to the extent, timing or cost of such investment.” The operator added in the filing that it plans to invest as much as US$3.5 billion in 2010, most of which will go on network expansion and improvements. It plans to spend 59 percent of this investment in South America, 15 percent in Mexico and the US, with the rest split between Central America and the Caribbean. Markets such as Brazil and Argentina are becoming increasingly important for the group; Brazil is already America Movil’s second-largest market after Mexico, with 44.4 million subscribers at the end of 2009, and led its customer growth last quarter with 2.1 million additions.

Many of America Movil’s rivals in the region appear to be pursuing a similar strategy. Dow Jones Newswires reports that Brazilian operator Tele Norte Leste Participacoes (better known as ‘Oi’) is looking at overseas expansion following the completion of its merger with local rival, Brasil Telecom. The recent global economic crisis has weakened potential takeover targets and made rivals for the assets more cautious, Luiz Eduardo Falco told journalists in Rio. “The crisis opens opportunities for us to take our first steps [abroad],” Falco said. He added that Oi is looking at opportunities in Argentina, Colombia, Uruguay, the Middle East and Africa, but did not name specific targets. In other news in the region, local press reports suggest that an unnamed businessman has held talks with Telecom Italia over a possible US$680 million offer for the Italian firm’s controversial stake in the parent company of Telecom Argentina.


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