Brazilian regulator Anatel has pinned China Mobile as a potential investor in the country’s beleaguered operator Oi, which would see the Chinese operator facing off with its rival China Telecom.
Anatel president Juarez Quadros revealed that a second Chinese party was interested in Oi while speaking at an event. Reports in November indicated that China Telecom was considering obtaining a majority stake in Oi for $6 billion, and had met with US private equity firm TPG Capital to discuss a potential deal.
While China Mobile has not made a move as tangible as this, it did meet with Anatel in September, and has been linked to Oi in the past. Not content with naming operators, Quadros also noted that China Development Bank – which is one of Oi’s creditors – could invest in the operator.
Oi filed for bankruptcy protection in June 2016, and is in the process of restructuring its debt. The troubled operator was faced with a further setback earlier this week when its CEO Marco Schroeder resigned two weeks ahead of a scheduled creditor meeting, citing disagreements with the operator’s board over the “slow pace” of Oi’s exit from bankruptcy protection.
The creditor meeting has been delayed from 7th December to 19th December, with the operator putting together a plan for restructuring its debt.