MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Shares in Mexico’s leading broadcaster, Grupo Televisa, fell on Thursday, a day after it said it would sell its stake in Iusacell, the country’s No. 3 wireless operator, at a loss.
Televisa said after the markets closed on Wednesday it would sell back its 50 percent stake in Iusacell to Grupo Salinas for $717 million but will book a loss of about $320 million on the sale.
The broadcaster, which also is the country’s top cable television provider, had already written down the bulk of what is a nearly $900 million loss on its original $1.6 billion investment in Iusacell, which has struggled to expand its business.
The sale, which is subject to regulatory approval, effectively reverses a deal approved two years ago after Televisa fought regulators for 14 months to be able to buy half of the company and gain a foothold in the mobile market.
Billionaire Carlos Slim’s firms dominate Mexico’s telecommunications market, but the sector could see a flurry of deals as regulators use a new law to try to foster greater competition and cut his back his share of the market.
Slim owns America Movil AMXL.MZ(AMX.N), the top mobile provider, and a Iusacell competitor.
Reporting by Michael O'Boyle; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe