Brazilian fixed line operator Oi (formerly known as Telemar) is mulling the possible acquisition of Telemig Celular Participações, a regional telecoms operator in Minas Gerais state. Oi CEO Luiz Falco told reporters that his company is ‘studying the asset like we study any other telecoms asset that’s available in Brazil,’ although he declined to comment on whether a formal bid was in the pipeline. Telemig confirmed in January 2007 that the US investment bank Merrill Lynch had been appointed to coordinate the sale of Telemig and its sister company Tele Norte Celular Participações (Amazônia Celular), which operates in the northeast. Both telcos are controlled by US bank Citigroup and local pension funds.
Other potential bidders for Telemig include Mexican mobile group América Móvil and the country’s the largest mobile operator by subscribers, Vivo. Neither player has a strong showing in Telemig’s franchise areas.