BNamericas reports that Colombian telcos UNE Telecomunicaciones and EPM are considering merging, citing local daily La Republica. UNE CEO Horacio Velez, EPM CEO Federico Restrepo and EPM Bogota CEO Miguel Fernando Cardona were quoted as saying that before a merger could take place, an agreement would first need to be reached with shareholders and pension funds. Velez added that the board has designated a committee to approach shareholders on the issue. Absorbing EPM Bogota would cost some COP500 billion (USD254 million) which would include covering EPM’s medium-term infrastructure investment plans, payment of rights and bonds.
Last July, ETB, Emcali and Une proposed merging operations to face increasing competition from Telmex and Telefonica. However, ETB recently announced its plan to continue seeking a strategic alliance on its own and decided to hire an investment firm to identify financial and strategic options.