A deal that was close to being done and dusted months ago may face a new period of uncertainty, with Brazilian operators TIM, Vivo and Claro apparently requesting a reduction in the price they are expected to pay for the mobile division of beleaguered telecommunications company Oi.
The prices sought by the three operators would reduce the amount required for Oi SA's mobile division by 3.2 billion reais (US$620 million), according to securities filings shown on Monday and reported by Reuters. The reason for the delayed response from the buyers seems to be that the new information was seen in documents available only after closing.
The original price agreed earlier this year was somewhere in the region of 16 billion reais (about US$3.1 billion) but the securities filing has apparently suggested that this figure is far too high given what are described as divergences in working capital, capital expenditure and net adds data.
There is apparently a provision for this in the form of a contract agreement on price adjustments. It would mean Oi paying back 1.75 billion reais (about US$339 million).
However, this rather depends on TIM, Vivo and Claro proving their case and winning their appeal against the deal, something Oi is not likely to accept. It says the request to cut the price by about a fifth is based on technical and procedural errors, and that it will take measures to contest it.