Telefónica seeks Vivo stake for $4.08b

Spanish telecommunications company Telefónica has offered at least 3 billion euros ($4.08 billion) to Portugal Telecom for a controlling stake in their Brazilian mobile venture Vivo, UK newspaper Financial Times, quoted by a BNamericaas report, said.

The Financial Times report quoted Telefónica chairman Cesar Alierta as saying that Telefónica has told Portugal Telecom that the offer will remain open until August.

The Spanish group has reportedly confirmed that it has made a bid, but has not confirmed the amount.

Vivo is a 50/50 venture between the two groups, but in terms of economic input Portugal Telecom has approximately 44.7% of voting shares and 23.8% of non-voting shares, the BNamericas report said.

'The figure of 3 billion euros has been floating around in analysts' estimates for months,' a Telefónica spokesperson told BNamericas.

The Brazilian market is growing fast, at around 21% annually, according to Carrie Pawsey, senior analyst and service manager at consultancy Ovum, the report said.

With just under 106 million mobile lines in the country and a penetration rate still under 60%, it is no surprise that Telefónica is keen to get an increased slice of this market, Pawsey said in a research note, the report said.