America Movil pitches surplus assets to AT&T, Softbank, Bell Canada, China Mobile

16 Sep 2014

America Movil (AM) has contacted potential suitors including US-based AT&T Inc and Softbank Corp of Japan, as it prepares to sell selected assets along the east coast of Mexico, Bloomberg reports, citing people with knowledge of the matter. The sale, which could fetch as much as USD20 billion, has also been pitched to Bell Canada and China Mobile, according to one of the sources. The sale is expected to include AM’s infrastructure in a strip of states from north to south along Mexico’s eastern coast, the company insiders confirmed. However, AM has yet to ask for bids because the preliminary information, or ‘teasers’ provided to the interested parties, did not provide enough details for a company to make an offer.

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

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, as of 30 June 2014 AM subsidiary Telcel controlled 69.3% of the Mexican mobile market, while sister company Telmex occupied 63.3% of the broadband segment 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 19.3% mobile market share, a 13.3% slice of the broadband segment and 19.9% of the fixed line market – automatically making it the second largest operator in the broadband and wireline markets, and placing it slightly behind Telefonica-backed Movistar (19.7%) in the wireless sector.