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Paper: Oi eying acquisitions abroad

Bnamericas Published: Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Brazilian telecoms operator Oi (NYSE: TNE) is eying acquisitions outside Brazil, with Luxembourg-based mobile holding company Millicom Cellular International (Nasdaq: MICC) a possibility, Bolivian daily El Nuevo Día reported. In Latin America, Millicom has assets in Bolivia, Paraguay, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. In January, Oi completed the acquisition of compatriot operator Brasil Telecom (BrT) (NYSE: BRP) in a deal worth an estimated 13bn reais (US$5.69bn), giving the new company some 53mn clients - 22mn in fixed telephony, 27mn in mobile telephony, 3.7mn in broadband services and 60,000 in pay TV. Their main area of fixed line operations covers 25 of Brazil's 26 states, with the only state not included being the country's wealthiest, São Paulo, which is mostly covered by Telefónica. Together, the merged companies control roughly 64% of the fixed lines available in the country. For its part, Millicom posted net profits of US$66.2mn in the fourth quarter of 2008, down 42% compared to US$113mn in 4Q07. It recently purchased the remaining shares in two joint ventures, Central American carrier of carriers Navega and Millicom''s business in Chad, for a proportional total of US$60mn.

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