8 de septiembre de 2014 / 19:09 / en 3 años

UPDATE 1-Mexico's America Movil says to hold talks with Oi over Tim bid

(Updates with bid context, share prices)

By Tomás Sarmiento and Christine Murray

MEXICO CITY, Sept 8 (Reuters) - Mexico’s America Movil plans to hold talks with Brazil’s Oi SA over joining its bid to buy wireless operator Tim Participacoes SA, the company’s chief financial officer said on Monday.

“Oi presented an offer for TIM and has said that they could include other operators,” CFO Carlos Garcia Moreno said via email. “We have decided in principle to explore this option. We will be talking with them.”

Garcia Moreno told Bloomberg earlier in the day that financing the possible deal for Brazil’s second biggest wireless company would not be a problem, and that the company would likely incur some debt.

Oi unveiled plans in August to take over TIM, which is majority-owned by Telecom Italia, saying it wanted to bring in America Movil and Spain’s Telefonica to split the deal three ways.

Oi, Telefonica and America Movil, owned by the world’s richest man Carlos Slim, have been discussing a potential joint bid for TIM since late last year, several sources told Reuters earlier this year.

America Movil owns Brazil’s No. 3 wireless carrier and its biggest broadband operator.

Increases in capital spending and morphing technology are driving mergers in the global telecoms sector.

But in Brazil, a move to consolidate the mobile market would face close scrutiny from antitrust regulators, who have voiced concern that fewer players will weaken competition.

In an interview in July, Slim said that he felt America Movil’s 25 percent market share in Brazil’s wireless market was “very low”.

Breaking up TIM would give rivals more breathing room in Brazil’s crowded four-way mobile market, where they have struggled to add customers, invest in high-speed networks and protect profits in a stagnant economy

Shares in Tim surged 8.31 percent to 13.55 reais each on Monday.

America Movil was trading 1.46 percent firmer at 17.42 pesos, while Oi was trading 3.01 percent firmer at 1.71 reais a share. (Editing by Simon Gardner and Chizu Nomiyama)

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