A potential bidder is apparently arising for the Brazilian telecommunications provider Oi. According to reports, Huawei and China Mobile are exploring a partnership to bid for the troubled operator. Nobody involved in such talks is talking about them on the record of course, but so far they aren’t denying them either.
Other bidders have been rumored lately as the Brazilian government works on a telecommunications bill that would supposedly smooth the path toward a sale. Both Telecom Italia and Telefonica Brazil have denied they are in talks with Oi, although that’s quite the same thing as considering a bid.
But having Huawei and China Mobile take such a position in Brazil’s market would be quite dramatic. Given the trade war and the security concerns expressed by the US and other western powers about Huawei’s ties with the Chinese military and the bans on the company’s equipment in some parts, one wonders how such a bid would play out if it did happen. And if it did, what would they do with the asset?
Oi has said it would like to sell off non-core assets and focus on its last mile fiber assets in Brazil. The company is burning cash, however, and under pressure from shareholders to do something about it.
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