US firm NII Holdings has confirmed that it has agreed to sell its Peruvian arm Nextel del Peru to Chilean fixed and wireless operator Entel for approximately USD400 million. The proceeds from the sale will support investments in next generation networks (NGNs) in Mexico and Brazil. Steve Shindler, NII’s chairman and interim chief executive officer commented: ‘The proceeds that we generate through this sale allow us to prioritize investments in our largest markets that offer the greatest opportunity for strong, long-term returns,’ adding that ‘Nextel Peru has been an integral part of NII for 15 years, and led the way on a number of key initiatives, including being the first of our markets to implement our new billing system and the first to deploy and launch our new next generation network and high performance push-to-talk service.’ The deal is subject to certain conditions, and is expected to be completed in H2 2013.
As previously noted by CommsUpdate, Entel has been looking to create new revenue streams through mergers and acquisitions in the region following the failed takeover of triple-play provider Grupo GTD in its domestic market. Entel currently has presence in the Peruvian market through its wholesale and corporate unit, Americatel. Should its takeover of the US-backed cellco be successful, Entel is expected to retain the Nextel brand and niche focus.