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Telcos launch joint bid for Brazilian Oi’s mobile business

A number of top telcos have launched a joint offer for bankrupt Brazilian operator’s Oi mobile unit.

According to filings from Saturday, TIM Participacoes, Telefonica Brasil and America Movil SAB de CV have offered to buy the unit, though terms have not been disclosed. Reuters adds that the companies have asked for the right to match any potential offers, with Oi saying that there was a second offer from what is believed to be a foreign player with a small presence in Brazil.

The company is looking to offload the mobile business which it values at BR$15 billion (US$2.9 billion) as a part of a wider split of four of its units: towers, data centres, mobile assets and fibre infrastructure.

All of the money raised will go towards paying off Oi’s debt and funding its broadband business with the aim of exiting bankruptcy protection. The operator had approximately BR$65 billion (€10.54 billion) in debt when it filed for bankruptcy protection in 2016 – the largest bankruptcy filing in Brazillian history.

This offer comes after a May statement from TIM Brasil SA and Telefonica Brasil who said that they were planning a joint offer for the mobile unit.

It is believed that urgency is the priority more than money, with Oi likely to consider which group could secure regulatory approval more quickly.

The operator also said that it had received an offer of BR$1.08 billion (€180 million) for its tower unit from Highline do Brasil II Infraestrutura de Telecomunicações S.A.