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TIM, Telefonica and Claro present binding bid for Oi’s mobile assets

TIM Participacoes (TIMP3.SA), Telefonica Brasil (VIVT4.SA) and America Movil SAB de CV (AMXL.MX) presented a joint binding offer for the mobile unit of bankrupt Brazilian carrier Oi Group (OIBR4.SA), according to filings by the companies on Saturday. The telecom firms said they have asked Oi for the right to cover potential offers the Brazilian company may have received in the competitive process for its assets. According to two sources with knowledge of the matter, there was a second proposal from a foreign strategic player with a small presence in Brazil. Oi will not chose the winner based solely on price, but will also consider which group could secure regulatory approval for the deal faster. Oi said it has received proposals for its mobile unit, but did not disclose the bidders’ identities or number of offers. In a separate statement, Oi said it received a 1.08 billion-reais ($200.59 million) binding offer for its tower unit from Highline do Brasil II Infraestrutura de Telecomunicações S.A. The Brazilian carrier set a minimum price of 15 billion reais ($2.79 billion) for its mobile assets. The company intends to use the proceeds of asset sales to fund its growing broadband fiber unit and pay debt, aiming to exit bankruptcy protection. It was not clear if the offer met the minimum price. TIM Brasil SA (TIMP3.SA) and Telefonica Brasil had said in May they were planning a joint offer for Oi’s mobile business, despite the COVID-19 outbreak, not mentioning Claro. “The transaction, if completed, shall add value to all shareholders and clients by means of further growth, generation of operational efficiencies and service quality enhancement,” all three bidders said in statements. Brazil’s largest fixed-line carrier had approximately 65 billion reais ($12.65 billion) of debt when it filed for bankruptcy protection.

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