Financially stricken Brazilian telecoms group Oi has announced that it has entered into an exclusivity agreement with Telefonica Brasil (Vivo), Claro Brasil and TIM Brasil over the sale of its mobile business, after the consortium raised its initial offer. As per the shareholder announcement (dated 7 August), Oi noted that the new agreement grants the trio ‘stalking horse’ (first bidder) status, which guarantees them the right to make a higher bid than the best offer among the other offers presented.
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, late last month the Vivo-Claro-TIM consortium submitted a new bid of BRL16.5 billion (USD3.2 billion) for Oi’s mobile assets. The increased offer comes after Oi overlooked the trio’s initial joint offer, in favour of a bid from US-backed tower firm Highline. Both parties submitted offers in the region of BRL15 billion in the first instance, but Oi has stressed that it will be receptive to whichever bid ‘provides greater legal assurances and certainty for the closing of the sale’.