State plans to keep 6.6% CANTV stake; América Móvil extends purchase deadline

13 Jul 2006

The Venezuelan government plans to maintain a 6.6% stake in the country’s dominant telco CANTV despite the intentions of Mexican cellco América Móvil and its fixed line sister company Telmex to acquire the entire company, according to local press quoting Finance Minister Nelson Gerentes. The pair recently agreed to purchase 28.5% of CANTV from US-based Verizon for USD676.6 million, and announced a plan to buy up all remaining shares, although they must wait for state authorisation to do so.

Meanwhile, América Móvil announced it has extended the deadline for closing the CANTV stake purchase to 2 October. In a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, the operator said the stock purchase agreement was amended on 30 June. A spokesperson said Tuesday that the process requires more time to complete, but that the terms of the agreement remain the same. The acquisition forms part of a USD3.7 billion deal under which Telmex and América Móvil will also buy Verizon’s interests in Verizon Dominicana and Telecomunicaciones de Puerto Rico.

Venezuela, America Movil (AM), CANTV, Telefonos de Mexico (Telmex)