The long-running merger between Colombian sister companies Partners Telecom Colombia (WOM) and Avantel closed on 19 August, after belatedly receiving the green-light from the Superintendency of Companies (Superintendencia de Sociedades) on 14 July. WOM has urged Avantel customers to swap their SIM card free of charge at a WOM retail branch ahead of 26 September, at which point ‘Avantel will cease to exist as an operator’. The ability to recharge pre-paid subscription balances was scrapped on 22 August.
Back in May 2021 mobile newcomer WOM announced plans to stage a ‘merger by absorption’ of its sister company, Avantel. WOM was created by Icelandic-owned, UK-based private equity firm Novator Partners in 2019 to bid in the country’s multiband spectrum auction. Subsequently, in July 2020 it was confirmed that Novator had acquired an unspecified majority stake in debt-wracked local telco Avantel and launched a restructuring of the business.