Bloomberg News

America Movil Brazil Units to Offer TV, Web, Phone Packages

October 05, 2011

(Updates with closing price in third paragraph.)

Oct. 5 (Bloomberg) -- America Movil SAB, the largest wireless carrier in the Americas, said its Brazil units will offer packages of TV, Internet and phone services in Latin America’s largest economy. Shares of its cable division gained the most in almost three years in Sao Paulo trading.

Net Servicos de Comunicacao SA, which is Brazil’s largest cable carrier and majority-owned by America Movil, will combine its offerings with those of phone carrier Embratel Participacoes SA and wireless service provider Claro SA, the companies said today in a statement distributed to reporters in Sao Paulo.

Net rose 1.95 reais, or 13 percent, to 16.70 reais at 4 p.m. New York time in Sao Paulo trading, the biggest gain since Oct. 13, 2008. America Movil dropped 28 centavos, or 1.9 percent, to 14.72 pesos in Mexico City trading.

America Movil, based in Mexico City and controlled by billionaire Carlos Slim, is combining its mobile-phone units across Latin America with fixed-line phone and cable-TV divisions to offer a package of communications services to clients. The wireless and wireline operations can also share network infrastructure to cut costs.

Telefonica SA, based in Madrid and America Movil’s largest rival, is also combining its mobile-phone and fixed-line operations into Telecomunicacoes de Sao Paulo SA, its Brazilian unit.

Boosted Stake

In Mexico, America Movil’s biggest market, the company plans this month to spend as much as $6.5 billion to acquire the shares of fixed-line carrier Telefonos de Mexico SAB it doesn’t already own.

America Movil brought Embratel, its Rio de Janeiro-based Brazilian phone unit, and Claro, its wireless division in the country, under one roof last year in a $23 billion transaction that also included fixed-line and TV operations in Colombia, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Ecuador and Peru.

Embratel boosted its stake in Net to 92 percent earlier this year by spending $2.7 billion to acquire preferred shares of the company. The company holds 49 percent of the voting shares of Net and has an agreement with Net’s co-owner, Globo Comunicacao e Participacoes SA, to acquire the additional 2 percent needed for control of the company as soon as the law permits foreign control of a cable carrier.

Brazil President Dilma Rousseff signed a law last month removing the cap on foreign ownership of pay-TV operators. Embratel and Net are discussing the new law with shareholders and government officials and haven’t set a date for a transaction to change control, Chief Executive Officer Jose Formoso Martinez told reporters today in Sao Paulo.

--Editors: James Callan, Niamh Ring

To contact the reporters on this story: Taís Fuoco in Sao Paulo at tfuoco1@bloomberg.net; Crayton Harrison in Mexico City at tharrison5@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Peter Elstrom at pelstrom@bloomberg.net


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