Telefonica reportedly in for Oi broadband unit

Telefonica reportedly in for Oi broadband unit

Telefonica is reportedly considering to buy troubled Brazilian operator Oi’s broadband unit as part of expansion plans in Brazil. 

Reuters reported, Oi filed for bankruptcy earlier this year and hired advisers in October to draw up strategic options for its fibre broadband client base, known as UPI ClientCo. 

Telefonica Brasil CEO Christian Mauad Gebara said the company participates "in everything related to any opportunity in the fibre business”, when questioned about Oi’s assets in a Q3 results call in an earnings.

Reuters reported Oi aimed to sell 40% of ClientCo in 2025 for BRL4.8 billion (US$971 million) as part of a restructuring plan in presented in revealed in May. The figure indicated a valuation of around US$2.4 billion for the business. 

Sources speaking to the news agency said the whole unit is now up for sale but likely to be valued by bidders at a fraction of the above price, due to Oi’s precarious financial situation and the challenge of transferring clients to its own networks. 

An Oi spokesman said the valuation in May is correct what percentage of UPI ClientCo is up for dale, is still under negotiation with creditors. 

In the last six years Oi has had a rocky journey, having entered a bankruptcy protection not once but twice (first time in December 2022). 

The operator gained US$300 million in debtor in possession financing from BTG Pactual, which is advising on the sale of UPI ClientCo.   

Rival operators Telefonica, Telecom Italia and Claro joined hands to acquire Oi’s mobile assets in 2020. 

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