ENACOM approves Telecom-Cablevision merger; Metrotel sold

3 Jan 2018

According to Argentina’s ‘Boletin Oficial’ the National Entity for Communications (Ente Nacional de Comunicaciones, ENACOM) approved the merger of Telecom Argentina and Cablevision on 21 December 2017. As per the approval, the combined entity is obliged to hand back an 80MHz block of spectrum, as the enlarged telco’s frequency holdings will surpass the current 140MHz spectrum limit. The other key regulatory measure will see the merged company ensure the provision of ‘commercial conditions’ on a par with those available in the Area Metropolitana Buenos Aires (AMBA) in localities with less than 80,000 people, or where competition is only provided by a cooperative or a corporate provider. According to the watchdog, the merger approval will hasten the introduction of quad-play services in the AMBA, Rosario and Cordoba from this month.

As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, the Telecom-Cablevision merger was announced to the Argentine Securities Commission and the Buenos Aires Stock Exchange on 30 June 2017. The key driving force behind the deal is investment firm Grupo Fintech, which currently holds a 40% stake in Cablevision and also owns 100% of Sofora Telecomunicaciones, which in turn holds a 55.6% economic interest in Telecom Argentina.

In other M&A news, Argentine conglomerate Sociedad Comercial del Plata has announced the sale of its Metrotel unit to asset manager Blackstone and technology investor Riverwood. The USD190 million divestment was announced in a letter to Argentina’s securities regulator, and is subject to approval from ENACOM. The telco presides over a 3,000km fibre-optic network spanning the Federal Capital, Greater Buenos Aires, Cordoba, Rosario, Neuquen and Mendoza.