Telefonica hires JP Morgan to scrutinise possible Oi takeover, report says

30 Sep 2019

Spanish telecoms giant Telefonica has reportedly enlisted New York-based investment bank JP Morgan to advise it on the potential acquisition of financially stricken rival Oi. According to Spanish business site El Confidencial, the acquisition of Oi’s mobile business has piqued Telefonica’s interest, and the Spanish firm could pay as much as USD4.8 billion for the assets.

Earlier this month it was revealed that Oi was in discussions with the likes of Telefonica, Telecom Italia Group, AT&T Inc and China Mobile over the planned sale of its mobile unit; Oi hopes that the sale of its cellular business will help it avoid insolvency.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Oi filed the largest bankruptcy request in Brazil’s history in June 2016, after failing to reach an agreement with its creditors. The filing, which covered Oi and six subsidiaries, listed BRL65.4 billion (USD15.7 billion) of debt and the company chose judicial reorganisation to preserve the value of its holdings and to continue providing services to its customers.

Brazil, Oi, Telefonica, Telefonica Brasil (Vivo)