Brazilian integrated operator Oi has confirmed that it is positioning itself to “participate in the industry consolidation process in Brazil”.
With the market in a state of flux, it has been clear that Oi would play a significant role in the expected consolidation, and the operator has stated that it is “carefully assessing all the available alternatives in order to identify the most efficient structure in terms of value creation for its shareholders and for all of its stakeholders”.
The statement continued: “Oi is one of the three integrated companies in Brazil and is very well positioned to face the industry challenges and to capture the market opportunities, leveraging its ability to provide convergent services by offering complete service packages to its customers.”
It was reported that Oi had lodged a joint bid with America Movil and Telefonica to acquire TIM Partecipacoes, the Brazilian unit of Telecom Italia. However, Oi denied the existence of this alliance.
Despite this, speculation continues to link TIM with Oi – largely because they have complimentary expertise (mobile and fixed respectively). Telecom Italia is believed to be open to a merger.
Oi is awaiting shareholder approval for the sale of PT Portugal – once it receives this, it will be able to reduce its debt significantly as well as increase its financial flexibility. The operator has described its recent fortunes as an “inflection point” that will bring about an “operational turnaround process”.