AT&T or Vodafone could be interested in acquiring Telecom Italia’s Brazilian subsidiary if Telefónica is successful in its bid for GVT, an investment bank has said.
Telefónica made a surprise offer for Vivendi’s Brazil-based fixed line operator GVT earlier this month as it looks to boost its offering in the Latin American country.
Last week however, Telecom Italia said it was “undertaking a detailed review” to determine whether to submit a rival offer.
Rick Mattila, Telecoms Analyst at the investment banking arm of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, said discussions between Telecom Italia and Vivendi appear to include a stake in the Italy-based operator for Vivendi and an operational alliance with respect to Vivendi’s media content distribution in Italy.
As such, Telefónica’s offer is “somewhat simpler”, he said.
The analyst added: “We continue to believe that other mobile operators in Brazil (America Movil and Oi/Portugal Telecom) are unlikely to enter the bidding for GVT due to their existing strong broadband offerings in Brazil.”
The many “moving parts” mean that determining who will be successful is a difficult task, Mattila warned.
“In the event that Telecom Italia fails in its bid for GVT and Telefonica is successful, we would then expect the group’s hand to be forced into a sale of its Brazilian assets,” the analyst said.
“In this scenario, TIM Brasil could either be split between the other three or new entrants to the Brazilian market may emerge.”
New entrants may be preferable to regulators, according to Matilla.
“We would regard AT&T as a possibility here, given the group’s Latin American presence through the pending merger with DirecTV. Vodafone could also look to enter the market.”
In the first six months of the year, Telecom Italia’s Brazilian business saw revenues decline 16.9 percent.
Meanwhile, Telefónica revealed that sales in its Brazilian subsidiary fell 11 percent in the second quarter alone.
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