Algar may still bid for Brazilian operator Oi

Algar may still bid for Brazilian operator Oi

For regular readers who are wondering what happened to the Algar bid for the mobile division of troubled Brazilian telecommunications business Oi, it seems that it may still be on.

A few weeks ago Brazilian regional operator Algar Telecom and Singaporean sovereign wealth fund GIC, which has a stake in Algar, were rumoured to be working together on a possible bid for Oi, according to Brazilian press reports.

Now, according to TeleGeography's CommsUpdate, Digital Colony Management has got involved.

The US-based digital infrastructure investment platform of Colony Capital was last seen in these pages when it announced the establishment of Scala Data Centres, a hyperscale data centre platform headquartered in Sao Paulo. Last year it acquired Highline do Brasil II Infraestrutura de Telecomunicações S/A, an independent infrastructure solutions provider for the telecommunications industry, from Pátria Investments, a major name in alternative asset management in Latin America.

Now it is apparently ready to back Algar Telecom’s takeover bid for Oi’s mobile assets, according to the Brazilian news magazine Veja.

If this is true, the partners in the bid are taking on some heavyweight competition in the form of Claro Brasil, Telefonica Brasil and TIM Brasil, whose joint bid for Oi’s mobile assets was announced late last week.

However, there has apparently been no further detail offered by Algar or its supposed backers. In addition, earlier reports that Algar and GIC were also interested in Oi’s fixed line business (which is not for sale) are still unconfirmed. To confuse matters even further, Highline has apparently made a binding offer, worth about $201 million, for Oi’s tower unit.

There’s still a lot to play for. As things stand, the sealed bids process may not favour the highest bidder if the second highest bid provides greater legal assurances and certainty for the closing of the sale.

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