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AndreA (Offline)
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Default 23-01-2006, 09:14

Telecom Italia Sells Venezuela Mobile Operator

ROME -(Dow Jones)- Telecom Italia said Friday it had sold its Venezuela mobile phone unit Digitel Venezuela for $425 million, the proceeds of which the Italian telecommunications company said would be entirely used to cut debt.

Telecom Italia said it had sold Digitel Venezuela, the South American country's leading GSM operator with more than 1.7 million customers and revenues of some EUR287 million last year, to Oswaldo Cisneros' Telvenco.

Telecom Italian said the sale of its wholly-owned Venezuela unit was part of its strategy of focusing on countries where it has a national license and it can exploit the benefits of convergence between fixed-line and mobile telecommunications platforms.

Last year, Telecom Italia sold its mobile telephone business in Peru for EUR407 million.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires


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Default 23-01-2006, 09:24

Venezuela Digitel Buyer Plans Fusion With Cell Cos

CARACAS -(Dow Jones)- A Venezuelan firm that has offered to purchase cellular company Digitel also plans a merger with two cellular operators to create a company with national reach.

Telvenco, owned by local businessman Oswaldo Cisneros, has reached an agreement to purchase Digitel from Italy's Telecom Italia for $425 million.

The deal also includes a fusion with Digicel and Infonet, two regional carriers that would complement Digitel's service, Telvenco said in a statement Friday.

The merger would create a company with approximately 1.8 million subscribers, the only carrier to offer GSM technology nationwide.

"The deal still needs approval from the authorities and Cisneros will lead it," said Victor Hill, the top shareholder for Digicel. He declined to give details of the merger or if the regional carriers would invest additional capital.

Cisneros has kept regulators informed about the process for six months, said a person who works closely with the business leader.

The source said Cisneros would hold a stake larger than 80% in the new consolidated company.

Digitel would serve as the third wireless network operator competing against Movistar, a company owned by Spain's Telefonica, and Movilnet, the cellular unit of CANTV, the largest phone operator in the Andean country.

New York-based Athelera advised Telvenco on the acquisition, and J.P. Morgan provided financing for the transaction, according to the release.

Digitel's planned sale comes almost a year after Venezuela's telecommunications regulator Conatel blocked a similar $450 million bid by CANTV to purchase Digitel.

At the time, the government argued that the fusion would essentially create a duopoly, with two large companies dominating the sector.


(END) Dow Jones Newswires


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Effendi (Offline)
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Default 23-01-2006, 09:49

TIM keeps on selling its foreign units, not it only has the Brazilian one, and some % in the Turkish Avea, while in Greece only the brand remains.
Nothing new for us Italians, we all know the big debts Telecom Italia has, and it's norma they want to make some cash.


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Default 23-01-2006, 23:24

What caused these huge debts? Did they overinvest in the past?
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Default 24-01-2006, 10:32

TIM is doing very well, but Telecom Italia, the landline operator, is the former statal monopolist and has a lot of debts, like any former statal company. Last yeat TIM and Telecom joined again together, like they were in the 90s, that's mostly due to the fact TIM had cash to pay many debts of Telecom. Much of that cash came from the selling of foreign operators (not fully owned, or fully owned) like Bouygues, Amena, TIM Greece, TIM Peru and now TIM Venezuela.
Telecom has huge debts, they don't want to talk about it on Italian newspapers, but I fear it could happen something like Parmalat... unless TIM pays everything. TIM has become much more aggressive on the market recently, expecially with postpaid offers, that's something unusual for our tlc market.
Anyway, I hate Telecom!


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Default 24-01-2006, 20:14

What's the deal with Amena anyway? Don't they belong to Orange/France Telecom now?
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Default 24-01-2006, 20:45

Quote:
Originally Posted by Triband81
What's the deal with Amena anyway? Don't they belong to Orange/France Telecom now?
Yes, now it belongs to Orange/FT, but once TIM had some % in it, I think around 30/40%, which sold to Auna if I'm not wrong. The same happened with Bouygues in France.


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Default 25-01-2006, 19:02

Ok that made me wonder since I read on Howard's Forums that Orange/FT intends to rebrand Amena.
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