Just over a fortnight after Brazilian regional operator Algar Telecom was rumoured to be interested in a bid for the mobile and fixed businesses of operator Oi, Telecom Italia seems to be back on the scene – via TIM Brasil.
According to TeleGeography's CommsUpdate, Telecom Italia Group has authorised its subsidiary TIM Brasil to bid for the cellular unit of cash-strapped operator Oi. According to local press, Telecom Italia chairman Salvatore Rossi has given TIM Brasil CEO Pietro Labriola the go-ahead to examine and approve the final terms of the binding proposal.
This bid, if it happens, may not be totally unexpected. Back in October Telefonica, America Movil and Telecom Italia were rumoured to have begun talks to jointly purchase Oi’s mobile division and then divide the assets between them. However, in March TIM Brasil and Telefonica Brasil, through its brand, Vivo, were said to have commenced negotiations to jointly acquire Oi’s mobile business. As we have mentioned, the possibility of an Algar Telecom bid has also been discussed in various media outlets.
The bidding process may clarify matters – when it actually starts. It will involve the submission of sealed bids for 100 per cent of Oi’s mobile unit. The minimum acceptable bid is about $2.9 billion. The winner may not be the highest bidder, however, if the second highest bid over the minimum provides greater legal assurances and certainty for the closing of the sale.