Two US companies, one European firm keen to snag AM assets

31 Jul 2014

The race for America Movil’s surplus Mexican assets is heating up, with at least two United States-based companies and another European firm interested in tabling a deal, Bloomberg reports. The news agency cites comments from Felipe Canales, chief financial officer of Mexican fixed line operator Axtel, who classified the identities of the would-be buyers as ‘good information’. While no names were divulged by Canales, the information is likely to increase speculation that US behemoths AT&T and Verizon Communications are circling the assets.

As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, earlier this month it was revealed that AM’s billionaire owner Carlos Slim is ready to sell off parts of his domestic telecoms business in an effort to cut his company’s market share across the Mexican telecoms sector below 50%, thus avoiding regulations that apply only to dominant players, and cease being a ‘preponderant economic agent’.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, as of 31 March 2014 AM subsidiary Telcel controlled 70.6% of the Mexican mobile market, while sister company Telmex occupied 64.2% of the broadband market and around 59.9% of the wireline sector. As such, if a newcomer strikes a deal to buy AM’s surplus operations, it will start life with a 20.6% mobile market share, a 14.2% slice of the broadband segment and 19.9% of the fixed line market – automatically making it the second largest operator in each of those markets. Industry insiders have estimated the spun-off assets to be worth in the region of USD10 billion.

Mexico, America Movil (AM), Radiomovil Dipsa (Telcel), Telefonos de Mexico (Telmex)