Claro to take control of Amazonia Celular from Vivo, paper says

6 Sep 2007

Brazil’s third largest mobile operator by subscribers Telecom Americas (Claro) has been linked with a possible takeover of Tele Norte Leste Participacoes (Amazonia Celular), despite its recent purchase by rival Vivo Participacoes. Dow Jones, quoting reports in local business daily Gazeta Mercantil, says America Movil-backed Claro could take control of Amazonia Celular’s subscriber base in the northern region of Brazil because Vivo already operates there and telecoms laws prevent it from running two businesses in the same concession zone. Vivo, the 50:50 joint venture of Spain’s Telefonica and Portugal Telecom, has purchased a controlling stake in Amazonia Celular and its sister firm Telemig Celular Participacoes, but the business daily says the two companies’ previous owners, Citigroup and Banco Opportunity, are poised to sign a deal directly with Claro, rather that Vivo. Claro’s interest stems from the fact it does not have a presence in the northern region of Brazil.