Brazil telecom firms set for bid for TIM after Portuguese deal
By Luciana Bruno
RIO DE JANEIRO Jan 23 (Reuters) - A group of Brazilian telecommunications companies is ready to make a bid for wireless carrier TIM Participações SA in the short term, a source with knowledge of the situation told Reuters, after Oi SA secured shareholder approval for the sale of its Portuguese assets.
Shareholders at merger partner Portugal Telecom SGPS approved the 7.4 billion euro ($8.3 billion) sale to Altice SA over stiff opposition from a minority of shareholders.
With that hurdle cleared, the source said Oi and the Brazilian units of Mexico's America Movil SAB and Spain's Telefonica SA can move ahead with a joint offer for TIM, coordinated by investment bank Grupo BTG Pactual SA.
Oi said on Thursday that the sale of operations in Portugal strengthened its balance sheet and helped it to participate in the consolidation of the Brazilian market.
Telefonica Brasil declined to comment on the negotiations. Representatives for America Movil subsidiary Claro could not be reached for comment.
($1 = 0.89 euros) (Writing by Brad Haynes; Editing by Bernadette Baum)
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