October 16, 2019 / 3:08 PM / 2 months ago

America Movil says open to discussing deal with Brazil's Oi

FILE PHOTO: The logo of America Movill is seen on the wall at the company's corporate offices in Mexico City, Mexico March 14, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - America Movil (AMXL.MX), Mexico’s largest telecommunications company, said on Wednesday it was open to discussing a deal with Oi SA (OIBR4.SA), amid speculation that the Brazilian telecom carrier is in talks to sell its assets.

“Of course we are interested in doing something with Oi in Brazil,” an America Movil executive said on the company’s third-quarter earnings call.

Oi may consider selling its mobile operation if it gets attractive offers, Chief Operating Officer Rodrigo Abreu told Reuters earlier this month.

America Movil, controlled by the family of Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, has moved to strengthen its presence in Latin America this year with a series of acquisitions.

America Movil said on the call that it expected final regulatory approval of its deal to acquire rival Nextel’s operations in Brazil in November.

The company’s executives added that a deal to acquire Telefonica’s assets in El Salvador is moving forward with regulators, who have requested additional information.

In Mexico, America Movil’s top priority is receiving a license to offer pay TV, which it has been barred from providing since the early 1990s due to concerns about its market clout. That request, filed with Mexico’s Federal Telecommunications Institute last year, remains pending, America Movil said.

Shares of America Movil rose as much as 4.5% on Wednesday, a day after it reported a 31% decline in third-quarter results. Analysts were encouraged by gains in service revenues and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA), a closely watched measure of profitability.

Reporting by Julia Love; Editing by Richard Chang

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