America Movil SAB de CV (ADR) (NYSE:AMX), the Mexico-based carrier, so dominates the Mexican market that it may own 70% of the wireless market and 80% of landlines in Mexico. As a result, the company is looking at massive penalties but would see them lowered considerably if it got beneath a market share of 50%. Consequently, the company has reached out to a number of international players including AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) and Softbank Corp (OTCMKTS:SFTBF) (TYO:9984) in order to sell off somewhere around $17.5 billion in assets.
America Movil appeasing regulators
The assets in question are primarily located on the east coast of Mexico and it’s believed that the company has also reached out to China Mobile Ltd. (ADR) (NYSE:CHL) (HKG:0941) and Bell Canada.
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Two people familiar with the matter have told Bloomberg (on condition of anonymity) that the assets could be valued at five to seven times earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of roughly $2.5 billion. The company which is based in Mexico City and controlled by billionaire Carlos Slim is looking to make antitrust regulators happy while lowering the penalties it’s incurring which is cutting into profits significantly.
In addition to an asset sale, the company is believed to be planning a spinoff a its wireless towers though Chief Executive Officer Daniel Hajj didn’t give any details about the spinoff in recent conference call with investors that took place on July 22.
None of the foreign companies named above have responded to requests for further information made by Bloomberg and other financial media outlets.
Business outside of Mexico
AT&T, through its planned acquisition of DIRECTV (NASDAQ:DTV), would find itself a major player in Mexican television if the deal is agreed. DirecTV operates in Latin America and also holds a large stake in the nation’s largest TV provider, Sky Mexico. AT&T shareholders are expect to vote on the DirecTV takeover on September 25.
America Movil has been trying to diversify its networks outside of Mexico with the company planning a joint bid Oi SA for Telecom Italia SpA’s wireless unit in Brazil. Early this year, America Movil took a majority stake in Telekom Austria AG (ADR) (OTCMKTS:TKAGY) (VIE:TKA), its first property in Europe. Slim lost his title of world’s richest man to Bill Gates earlier this year but is firmly entrenched in second place with a net worth of $82.9 billion prior to America Movil SAB de CV (ADR) (NYSE:AMX) seeing a gain of 2.5% in trading today.