The Brazilian telecoms watchdog Anatel has given the country’s largest mobile operator by subscribers, Vivo Participacoes, clearance to acquire smaller rival Telemig Celular Participacoes, the local Jornal de Negocios reports. Telemig operates a network in the state of Minas Gerais in Brazil. It is understood that Anatel will also shortly publish its decision concerning Vivo’s proposed acquisition of Telemig’s sister company Tele Norte Celular Participacoes (Amazonia Celular), which Vivo acquired in the same deal earlier this year.
In August 2007, Telpart Participacoes, the holding group that controls Telemig Telemig and Amazonia Celular, said its shareholders had formally approved the sale of the two companies to Vivo. Telpart shareholders approved the deal during an extraordinary shareholders’ meeting, despite opposition from TPSA do Brasil, which is linked to Banco Opportunity and holds 48.9% of ordinary shares in Telpart. The holding group is controlled by Newtel, whose majority shareholders are US investment bank Citigroup and several local pension funds that combined own 51.07%. Newtel shareholders supported the sale, while TPSA criticised the transparency of the process in which the sale was conducted, despite being broadly in favour of the deal. TPSA also alleged at the time, that the transaction was contrary to the earlier stated aim to achieve the highest return on the investment.