América Móvil looks to boost presence in Brazil

5 Mar 2003

Latin American cellular giant América Móvil is currently involved in talks over the possible acquisition of BellSouth’s Brazilian mobile operator BSE. The Mexico-based cellco sees the purchase as an opportunity to increase its presence in Brazil’s wireless market, where it is currently a relatively small player despite already owning stakes in four cellcos. América Móvil owns Brasilia-based Americel, Telet in the south of the country, Rio de Janeiro-based ATL and Tess in Sao Paulo. América Móvil’s shareholders are nervous about the company investing more money into the Brazilian market, which they claim is harder to crack than Mexico. Although BSE would add around 1.01 million subscribers to its customer base in Brazil, it is also carrying a debt of USD712 million. BellSouth, which is also in talks over the sale of its other Brazilian unit, BCP, has declined to comment on the discussions with América Móvil, but said it would not be investing any more money in the Latin American region.