Novator eyes Telefonica Colombia takeover

27 Jan 2020

Novator Partners – the Icelandic-owned, London-based owner of Chilean upstart operator WOM – is considering a takeover bid for Telefonica Colombia, Spanish business daily El Economista reports. Madrid-based Telefonica Group is known to be willing to offload the bulk of its Latin American assets – its Colombian business included – while Novator recently acquired 700MHz and 2.5GHz spectrum in an auction held by Colombia’s Ministry of Information Technologies and Communications (Ministerio de Tecnologias de la Informacion y las Comunicaciones, MinTIC), significantly boosting the chances of a deal. Telefonica opted not to participate in the auction, ahead of its desired withdrawal from the market.

The report adds that Novator is also considering an approach for debt-wracked Avantel, the Colombian iDEN operator-turned-LTE provider, which is in the process of reorganising its debts. Novator, which acquired cash-strapped Nextel Chile back in January 2015 – before rebranding it as WOM – was previously linked with a takeover of Avantel Colombia in 2016, although no deal came to fruition on that occasion.