December 5, 2019 / 5:13 PM / 2 months ago

Brazil's TIM considers acquisition of Oi's mobile unit: CEO

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Brazilian wireless carrier TIM Participações SA (TIMP3.SA) will consider acquiring the mobile unit of its struggling rival OI SA (OIBR4.SA) if it is put up for sale, Chief Executive Pietro Labriola said on Thursday.

“Frequencies are an important asset for any carrier, not only for TIM”, Labriola told journalists at a company event in Sao Paulo, adding that for this reason he has to look into the deal.

He added, however, that it was unlikely only one carrier would be able to acquire the whole unit as antitrust authorities would closely look at such a deal.

Based on spectrum concentration, TIM may be allowed to get the largest stake in Oi’s mobile division, he said. “We have a better chance of getting a bigger chunk considering only spectrum concentration”, the CEO said.

His remarks come a few days after Oi’s chief operating officer, Rodrigo Abreu, confirmed the hiring of financial advisors to value the mobile unit.

TIM CEO Labriola also disclosed on Thursday plans to launch financial services to its pre-paid customers in the first half of 2020.

“We would like our pre-paid plan to become a debit card to unbanked clients”, Labriola said, adding that details will be disclosed on March 11, when parent company Telecom Italia SpA (TLIT.MI) will present its new strategic business plan in Milan.

Reporting by Gabriela Mello; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama

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