Brazilian utility firm Companhia Energetica de Minas Gerais (known locally as Cemig) has seen an unexpectedly high level of interest in its telecommunications assets, which it is planning to sell off to reduce its debt.
A total of 16 bidders have expressed interest in infrastructure held by Cemig’s telecom unit, as well as its 5,900 miles (9,500 km) fibre optic network. The company was originally hoping to sell off the assets for at least 367 million reais ($96.9 million), and this figure could now increase significantly.
An unnamed company source told Reuters: “The interest was surprising, a lot more favourable than imagined. They are big companies.” The 16 potential bidders are currently adhering to confidentiality agreements, but the source named American Tower Corp, American Movil’s Claro SA, and Phoenix Tower as interested parties.
Previous reports have indicated interest from Algar Telecom SA, Aloo Telecom, Telefonica Brasil SA , TIM Participacoes SA, and Vogel Solucoes em Telecomunicacoes e Informatica SA. Of these, only Vogel and Telefonica have confirmed their interest on record.
The auction is currently scheduled for 25th July, with the assets being split into two lots. Cemig’s fibre network runs through some of Brazil’s most prosperous states, and the fibre assets contained in the first lot will cover Minas Gerais, Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. Network assets in Goias, Bahia, Pernambuco and Ceara states will feature in the second lot.