Vodafone seeks Brazilian stake

Caroline Gabriel, Rethink Wireless
10 Aug 2010

It seems that just as the furor in Brazilian mobile appears to have died, with Telefónica finally getting its hands on Vivo, further disruption is on the horizon.

This time it is Vodafone that is determined to enter the huge market.

Brazil is one of the top five growth economies for mobile services, but unlike Spanish rival Telefónica, Vodafone has little presence in Latin America,. The region is dominated by Telefónica and Mexico-based America Movil.

Undaunted, Vodafone is reported to have hired an investment bank to the possibility of buying a stake in Brazilian cellco TIM Participacoes.

According to local daily newspaper O Estado de San Paulo, Vodafone has already held preliminary talks with Telecom Italia, which controls TIM Participacoes. The waters are further muddied because Telefónica is a shareholder in Telecom Italia, and as the second largest cellco in Brazil, is regarded as a key asset for the Spanish group.

Vodafone has been looking at the Brazilian market since 2007, when then-CEO Arun Sarin discussed possible alliances with Portugal Telecom. Tim Participacoes shares jumped by 5.2% on the rumors.


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