Telecom Italia is the latest company linked to a possible acquisition of Nextel Brazil.
The Brazilian operator - owned by NII Holdings - is on the market and a number of operators have expressed interest, including Telecom Italia, America Movil and Telefonica. With Telecom Italia’s board due to meet on 24th September, Bloomberg has reported that CEO Amos Genish could propose an acquisition.
Telecom Italia currently controls TIM Brasil, which is the third largest operator in the market with an estimated share of around 25%. Nextel Brazil ranks fifth, so combining their subscriber bases and spectrum holdings would significantly strengthen TI’s market share and metropolitan coverage.
Doubling down on its presence in Brazil would make sense for TI, as TIM Brasil is performing well while some of its other units are struggling – particularly its Italian operation, which faces strong competition following the entry of French operator Iliad to the market.
NII is the majority stakeholder in Nextel Brazil, but in May this year Access Industries acquired a 30% holding in the unit for $75 million. Factoring this in, the operator’s value is estimated at around $250 million. Bids are expected to be lodged this month.