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Slim doubts Mexican buyer for America Movil selloff

America Movil controller Carlos Slim has expressed his belief that potential buyers for the assets that the operator plans to sell are unlikely to come from within Mexico.

With AT&T and Telefonica mooted as possible candidates, Slim has implied that there are currently no Mexican operators with the capability to compete with America Movil.

The operator currently has a share of around 70% of Mexico’s mobile market, and is selling assets in order to bring this below 50% in the face of strict anti-monopoly proposals by the new Mexican regulator IFT. As yet, no operators have publicly declared an interest in buying the assets.

Telefonica has a strong presence in Latin America and currently owns the Mexican number two, Movistar. However, the unit is dramatically smaller than America Movil’s Telcel – the two firms respectively have 19 million and 98 million connections – so Movistar is likely looking to take some of Telcel’s market share.

US-based AT&T has a longstanding relationship with America Movil, but this is no guarantee that it will acquire the assets. Slim has stated that he is unbiased towards potential buyers, saying “We don’t have a preference”, but noting that a Mexican buyer was unlikely.


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