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Slim launches $22bn LatAm shake up

Carlos Slim needs to dispose of some assets

Latin American operator, America Movil, has launched its $21.8bn bid for control of three other regional telecoms firms. It sounds like big money but given that America Movil’s top man is none other than Carlos Slim Helu, the richest man in the world, such moves are to be expected.

Under the offer, America Movil would take full control of Carso Global Telecom, which also controls Mexican fixed line operator Teléfonos de México (Telmex) and Telmex Internacional.

If successful, Slim would de-list both Carso Telecom and Telmex from their respective trading indices and create a regional behemoth. America Movil had 206.4 million wireless subscribers and 3.8 million landlines in the Americas at the end of March, with operations in 15 Latin American countries, as well as Jamaica and the US. The consolidation would give it over 250 million customers in the Americas.

And as Forbes notes, the move would mean Slim’s fortune would change by billions of dollars every time America Movil stock moves just a few dollars.

The deal could also have a knock on effect in Brazil, where Slim’s Embratel fixed line operation and mobile outfit Claro compete with Telefónica and Portugal Telecom run Vivo.

On Tuesday, Telefónica made a $7.3bn bid to buy out the Portuguese carrier’s 50 per cent stake in Vivo, in a bid to merge the operation with its fixed line company, Telesp. Telefónica has long coveted the 50 per cent of Vivo it does not own. However, PT argues that Vivo is core to its strategy and the sale of its stake would be against long term growth prospects, and as a result has rejected the offer.

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One comment

  1. Guias Local 28/05/2010 @ 6:23 pm

    Carlos Slim’s move is interesting A bold move for control in communications. We thought he was in check. Not so.

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