UPDATE 1-NII Holdings hires advisers for potential sale
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March 10 (Reuters) - NII Holdings Inc, which provides telecom services under the Nextel brand in Latin America, said it hired financial firms for advise on a potential sale of the company and on ways to deal with its $5.79 billion debt load.
NII shares fell as much as 10 percent in premarket trading.
The company said it hired UBS Investment Bank to explore options that could also include partnerships as well as the sale or merger of one or more of its business units.
NII hired Rothschild Inc to advise on modifying its capital structure to improve its long-term liquidity position.
The appointment of the advisers comes 10 days after the company warned it might not be able to continue as a going concern.
NII is struggling to stem customer losses in Mexico and Brazil, where it faces intense competition.
"We continue to assess our ability to significantly improve our operating cash flows and are considering a number of options to do so, including ... selling our company," NII said in its annual regulatory filing on Feb. 28.
The company had said then that it believed it had sufficient funds to meet its obligations through 2014, but it was unlikely to have enough funds for next year.
NII had long-term debt of $5.79 billion and cash and cash equivalents of $1.73 billion as of Dec. 31.
NII has reported a loss for the last six quarters as its higher-paying corporate customers are lured away by Telefonica Brasil SA and billionaire Carlos Slim-controlled America Movil with their unlimited plans and faster and bigger networks.
NII said in December it would cut more than 1,400 jobs in its market operations and over 25 percent of the workforce at its Virginia headquarters as part of a restructuring plan to regain market share.
NII sold about 4,500 telecom towers in Brazil and Mexico to American Tower Corp in August for $811 million.
The company's shares, which have lost 83 percent of their value in the last six months, were at $1.00 in premarket trading on Monday. (Reporting By Lehar Maan and Sruthi Ramakrishnan in Bangalore; Editing by Savio D'Souza)