Luzembourg-based telecoms group Millicom International Cellular (MIC) has begun negotiations with EPM regarding a possible merger of their Colombian telecoms units, Tigo Colombia (previously known as Colombia Movil) and Une-EPM. The talks will look to evaluate the possibility of merging the holding company that owns 50% of Tigo Colombia with Une-EPM to create a leading integrated service provider. EPM currently holds a 25% stake in Tigo Colombia, and has worked alongside MIC since its entrance into the venture in 2006. Talks are expected to conclude during H1 2013. As noted by TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Une-EPM is the second largest broadband provider by subscribers after Telmex Colombia (also known as Claro Colombia) and entered the wireless market in mid-2012 with the launch of a Long Term Evolution (LTE) network in June.
Commenting on the negotiations, MIC president and CEO Hans-Holger Albrecht said: ‘The combination of a strong local partner with the international expertise of Millicom has provided a solid model in the past and will be even more important for the future.’ Albrecht went on: ‘Millicom strongly believes in a customer centric approach; to offer customers the best digital services on all devices and from all locations. The strong combination of mobile and fixed businesses will allow us to move even faster in this direction to the benefit of our customers.’
In its press release, MIC noted that the product portfolios and geographic presence of the two respective companies were ‘very complementary,’ adding that the transaction would be a ‘merger of equals’ and the duo would contribute their businesses to a newly created entity. The deal, if agreed upon, will be subject to the usual regulatory approvals.