Telvenco’s Digitel takeover approved by regulator

19 May 2006

Venezuelan telecoms regulator Conatel has approved the USD425 million purchase of cellco Digitel by domestic firm Telvenco, which agreed to buy the company from Telecom Italia in January. The regulator also found no reason to block a proposal by Telvenco’s head Oswaldo Cisneros to launch takeover bids for two regional mobile operators – Digicel and Infonet – as part of a plan to form a national competitor to larger rivals Movistar and Movilnet. Telvenco is aiming to establish a new operator with around 1.9 million subscribers that will also offer fixed line services. Conatel said that it will allow Digitel to offer fixed line products nationwide, placing it in direct competition with dominant telco CANTV. The approval of Digitel’s sale comes a year after Conatel blocked a USD450 million bid by CANTV to purchase Digitel on the basis that it would restrict competition.

Venezuela, Digitel