Mexican telecoms giant America Movil (AM) will submit a plan to its shareholders this month to spin off mobile unit Telcel’s cell towers into a separate company, the Wall Street Journal reports. The spin-off represents part of a restructuring plan AM devised last year in response to strict regulations designed to curb its market dominance in the mobile and fixed markets.
The assets are set to be spun off into a company called Telesites, and will include some 10,800 towers, to which new and existing mobile operators will have access. It has been suggested that the spin-off would give competitors access to 90% of its towers, up from the current 45%. Initially, Telcel will be the principal tenant of Telesites, although the new entity will take active steps to expand its network footprint, improve its tower locations and increase its number of tenants.
AM’s shareholder meeting is scheduled for 17 April, and the family of billionaire Carlos Slim, which controls the company, is expected to vote in favour of the spin-off, which will see some MXN21 billion (USD1.4 billion) worth of debt transferred to the new entity. CEO Daniel Hajj has said that he expects the spin-off to occur in May or June; AM shareholders will receive one Telesites share for every AM share they own.