More M&A rumours abound as Telecom Italia considers move for Oi

17 Sep 2014

Bloomberg writes that Milan-based Telecom Italia (TI) has apparently approached a number of financial advisers about a plan to acquire Brazilian-owned operator Oi SA (Oi) through its own wireless unit, TIM Participacoes (TIM Brasil). According to sources who asked not to be identified as the discussions are private, no formal approach has been made at this time, but it is noteworthy that TI is considering a buyout of the carrier in the wake of its recent failure to purchase another Brazilian firm, Global Village Telecom (GVT). Last month, the French media group Vivendi announced that it had entered into exclusive talks to sell GVT to Telefonica for USD9.83 billion. The decision, which was taken after a brief board meeting to review offers on the table, effectively side-lined TI which had entered into a bidding war for the Brazilian firm. With the Italian group seemingly now looking to shore up its position in the lucrative Brazilian market, targeting Oi makes sense and could stave off the threat posed by Oi which last month hired Banco BTG Pactual to mount its own bid for a stake in TIM Brasil. Further, a takeover of the Brazilian-controlled group would give TI a credible presence in the fixed line market, something it currently lacks, at a time when its rivals are all bolstering their own portfolios. Any takeover deal would however, require the necessary approval of the Brazilian authorities.

Brazil, Global Village Telecom (GVT), Oi, Telecom Italia (TIM), Telefonica, TIM Brasil