Vodafone eyes Brazil deal – report

Vodafone eyes Brazil deal – report

19 AUG 2014

Vodafone is considering an acquisition of one of the three major Brazilian operators with TIM its favoured target, according to a report in Estado De S.Paulo.

The report points to a London meeting at the end of July between Brazilian authorities and Vodafone in which the operator said its preference was for an acquisition, and not participation in the country’s proposed auction of 4G spectrum which has been delayed anyway.

Ownership of Brazilian operators is looking complicated. As well as an indirect investment in TIM, Spain’s Telefonica fully owns Vivo, the country’s biggest mobile operator. However, it is under orders from the country’s antitrust regulator to reduce its interests.

Telefonica submitted a €6.7 billion ($9 billion) offer last week for Vivendi’s fixed Brazilian provider GVT – a move which could ease the Spanish operator’s regulatory position. However, it faces a rival bid from Telecom Italia.

The third operator in Brazil is America Movil’s Claro.

Vodafone already has a presence in Brazil’s corporate and M2M markets through a partnership with local firm Datora. However, buying a network would represent a major new focus for the UK operator.

South America has not been the centre of attention recently for Vodafone as it looked to strengthen in those markets where it already has a mobile presence by adding fixed networks.

CEO Vittorio Colao recently said the operator was unlikely to be interested in assets on offer from America Movil in Mexico.

His message was that Vodafone only goes to new areas of the world to serve its corporate base, he told Reuters. That would seem to undermine the possibility of a Brazilian deal.

Brazil was to have staged an auction of 700 MHz this month but the process faces a delay.

Author

Richard Handford

Richard is the editor of Mobile World Live’s money channel and a contributor to the daily news service. He is an experienced technology and business journalist who previously worked as a freelancer for many publications over the last decade including...

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