Nextel Brasil has been put up for sale for USD300 million, Brazilian newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo reports, although any interested parties will also have to assume debt worth USD600 million. Citing sources familiar with the matter, the journal claims that Claro Brasil, TIM Participacoes (TIM Brasil) and a number of unnamed investment funds are all evaluating financial information provided by Nextel parent company NII Holdings. AT&T Inc was reportedly sounded out by NII Holdings, following its acquisition of Nextel de Mexico last year, but the US giant has distanced itself from a new deal in Latin America. For his part, Nextel Brasil CEO Francisco Valim has denied that the company is being sold, asserting: ‘I was hired to build the company … The focus is on cutting costs, optimising infrastructure and investment.’
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, NII Holdings agreed to sell its Mexican mobile business to AT&T in January 2015 for USD1.875 billion, having earlier divested its Nextel units in Chile and Peru. In September 2015 NII agreed a USD178 million deal to sell Nextel Argentina to local media conglomerate Grupo Clarin, but the transaction was rejected by Argentina’s telecoms regulators on the grounds that the parties had not sought the necessary approvals prior to announcing the deal. The deal will be reviewed later in 2016.