10 de diciembre de 2014 / 21:28 / en 3 años

Telecoms group led by Brazil's Oi still mulling TIM bid -source

SAO PAULO, Dec 10 (Reuters) - A group of telecommunications companies led by Oi SA looking to break up a rival in Brazil are still negotiating with each other and no bid for the target is imminent, a source with knowledge of the situation said on Wednesday.

The source said Brazil’s biggest fixed-line company, Oi , Telefonica SA of Spain and Mexico’s America Movil SAB are still discussing how to buy and split up TIM Participações SA.

No bid price has been set, although in principle the group agreed in late October to pay at least 32 billion reais ($12.3 billion), said the source, who requested anonymity because the talks are private.

Bloomberg News reported earlier on Wednesday that the consortium is poised to bid $15 billion for TIM, or about 40 billion reais, which would value the country’s No.2 wireless carrier after Telefonica Brasil SA at 7.5 times annual operational income.

The report, which cited an unnamed source, said the group would be willing to pay a 40 percent premium over TIM’s current market value.

Oi, Telefonica and America Movil declined to comment immediately on the report.

Telecom Italia SpA, which owns 67 percent of TIM, and Grupo BTG Pactual SA, which is acting on Oi’s behalf on the deal, also declined to comment.

Oi has asked BTG Pactual to act as “merchant commissioner,” creating the kind of special investment vehicle that has been used in the past to break up companies among multiple buyers.

$1 = 2.60 Brazilian reais Reporting by Guillermo Parra-Bernal; Additional reporting by Brad Haynes and Danilo Masoni. Editing by Andre Grenon

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