Japanese telecoms giant Softbank Corp is considering an investment in Mexican wireless operator Grupo Iusacell, people with knowledge of the matter have informed Bloomberg. Softbank, which controls Sprint Corp in the US, is said to be in advanced stages of reviewing Iusacell’s assets, one of the insiders noted. At the beginning of September Iusacell owner Ricardo Salinas, one of the country’s richest men, acquired the 50% of Iusacell that he did not already own from Grupo Televisa for USD717 million. Following the deal, he revealed that he would soon announce a new ‘world-class strategic partner’ for the cellco.
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, earlier this month Softbank was named as one of four potential buyers for the east coast assets of America Movil’s (AM’s) Telcel and Telmex units. 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’. The package has been valued at USD20 billion, with AT&T Inc, Bell Canada and China Mobile also in the running.