AT&T is getting lots of wireless spectrum in Mexico on the cheap by buying bankrupt Nextel Mexico's wireless assets, according to financial analysts. And AT&T might not stop there and could look to bulk up its position in Mexico by acquiring assets that former partner América Móvil is going to divest, according to the analysts and other industry sources.
AT&T said it will acquire the Mexican wireless assets of bankrupt NII Holdings for $1.875 billion, less outstanding net debt. The deal marks AT&T's latest expansion south of the U.S border following its $2.5 billion purchase of Mexican carrier Iusacell, which closed earlier this month.
AT&T officially closed its $2.5 billion purchase of No. 3 Mexican carrier Iusacell from Grupo Salinas. AT&T named company veteran F. Thaddeus Arroyo as CEO of Iusacell following the close of the deal.
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América Móvil has taken another step to make itself more amenable to Mexico's telecom regulators by moving to sell off its Sercotel holding company, reports Reuters, citing an announcement in Mexico's daily gazette.
Mexico's competition regulator approved AT&T's $2.5 billion purchase of No.3 Mexican carrier Iusacell, with certain conditions, clearing the way for the deal to close sometime in the first quarter of 2015.
Executives with BT Americas are looking at how they can gain a larger foothold in Mexico by making use of new laws that are focused on encouraging competition and inviting foreign companies to invest in the country's telecom market.
Telekom Austria has completed a capital increase announced earlier in November, raising total proceeds of €997 million ($1.24 billion) from the cash call but not quite achieving its goal of obtaining €1 billion in extra funding.
AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said he is enthusiastic about the growth prospects for the company in Mexico following the company's announcement of a $2.5 billion deal to purchase Mexican operator Iusacell. He also said that a large portion of the customer base of AT&T's Cricket prepaid brand has personal connections to the Mexican market, and there will be synergies between Cricket and Iusacell.
AT&T's decision to buy No. 3 Mexican wireless carrier Iusacell for $2.5 billion is likely a precursor to a larger move by AT&T into the Latin America market, potentially via a deal for some of América Móvil's assets or a push into Brazil, according to financial analysts. The deal could also possibly make it more likely that América Móvil will look to make a deal with T-Mobile US, though América Móvil has said it is not in talks with T-Mobile.