The wireless arm of Brazilian fixed line operator Oi, formerly known as Telemar, has agreed a deal to acquire a controlling interest in rival mobile operator Tele Norte Celular Participacoes (Amazonia Celular) from Vivo for BRL120 million (USD66.9 million). Oi’s TNL PCS unit, which also markets services under the Oi banner, is buying 51.86% of Amazonia Celular’s ordinary shares and 0.09% of its preferred stock under the deal, reports BNamericas, equivalent to 19.34% of the company. The deal requires the approval of the telecoms regulator Anatel.
As a result of the acquisition, Oi hopes to expand its mobile coverage to the northern states of Amazonas, Para, Amapa, Roraima and Maranhao, enabling it to reach mobile telephony coverage goals stipulated in the bidding rules for recently auctioned 3G licences. Oi will also strengthen its leadership in its operating area of 16 states in the north, northeast and southeast. In a separate development, Oi has snapped up two 2G spectrum licences covering greater Sao Paolo and northern Sao Paulo, in the repeat of an auction originally held by Anatel in September. Oi offered BRL112 million (USD63.5 million) for the two concessions, surpassing the minimum asking price of BRL43.5 million. Oi beat off rival bids from Unicel to win both licences.