The Telecom Italia (TIM) board of directors has given its TIM Participacoes (TIM Brazil) unit approval to make a non-binding offer for smaller rival Nextel Brasil, Reuters reports, citing three sources familiar with the matter. All sources spoke on condition of anonymity as the deliberations remain private and are at an early stage. Although Nextel only has a minor share of the wireless market – 1.3% as of June 2018 – it holds significant spectrum rights in the 1800MHz and 2100MHz bands, covering Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, in June 2018 US-based NII Holdings hired financial advisory group Rothschild & Co to sell its 70% stake in Nextel Brasil. The remaining 30% stake has been held by Access Industries, a firm backed by Ukrainian-born American industrialist Len Blavatnik, since June 2018. Access Industries acquired the stake from Scandinavian telecoms firm Ice Group for USD70 million, valuing Nextel Brasil at around USD280 million.