After a fairly lengthy process that seemed to have culminated in a successful sale, Brazilian operator Oi may not be able to sell off its mobile assets after all.
Local news reports are suggesting that the sale of Oi’s mobile assets (Oi Movel) to a consortium formed by rival operators Claro, Vivo and TIM may not be approved by Brazil’s antitrust authority, Cade.
Why this is a potential obstacle – and why approval may be withheld – is not entirely clear. However, there do appear to have been objections expressed.
If the purchasing consortium is prevented from going ahead, then other operators looking to expand in the mobile market may become involved. Sercomtel and Copel, which did not participate in the auction of Oi's mobile assets, have been mentioned as companies willing to buy Oi Movel if the opportunity arises.
However, further delays could have an adverse effect on Oi’s recovery plan. Oi’s aim was to complete the sale in early 2022 so it could move forward with its debt restructuring process.
Cade recommended the approval, with certain restrictions, of the sale of Oi Movel to the consortium made up of TIM, Claro and Vivo last year. The aim of the restrictions was to mitigate the competition effects from the decrease in the number of mobile operators on the market.
It has been over a year since embattled operator Oi apparently secured an agreement to sell its mobile assets. The aim of the Oi restructuring effort was for the company to sell most of its assets and concentrate on its landline business.