Financially stricken Brazilian telecoms operator Oi intends to pursue a merger with local pay-TV operator Sky Brasil Servicos (Sky Brazil), which is 93%-owned by satellite firm DirecTV – itself a unit of US giant AT&T Inc. According to a report by media outlet O Globo, the merger talks will be carried out in parallel to the telco’s ongoing bankruptcy proceedings, and a meeting is anticipated next month. O Globo reports that the two parties previously entered into discussions last year under the supervision of Brazilian bank BTG Pactual, but negotiations failed to progress in a meaningful way.
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, Oi filed the largest bankruptcy request in Brazil’s history in June 2016, after failing to reach an agreement with creditors. The filing, which covered Oi and six subsidiaries, listed BRL65.4 billion (USD19.2 billion) of debt and the company chose judicial reorganisation to preserve the value of its holdings and to continue providing service to its customers.
TeleGeography notes that AT&T has also been strongly linked with an approach for a second Brazilian operator, namely Nextel Brasil in recent years, following its USD1.875 billion acquisition of Nextel de Mexico in April 2015.