Huawei denies interest in acquiring Oi or any other Brazilian carrier

FILE PHOTO: The Huawei logo is pictured at the IFA consumer tech fair in Berlin, Germany, September 5, 2019. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke/File Photo

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Chinese telecoms equipment maker Huawei Technologies Co said on Sunday it was not interested in acquiring struggling Oi SA OIBR3.SA or any other Brazilian carrier.

Brazilian newspaper O Globo reported on Saturday in its online version that Huawei was joining forces with China Mobile 0941.HK to potentially enter a dispute to buy Oi SA OIBR3.SA.

“Huawei has no plan or interest in acquiring Oi or any other Brazilian carrier. In Brazil for more than 20 years, the company is working with all major Brazilian carriers supplying the best products and solutions to support digital transformation in Brazil,” the company said in an emailed statement.

According to O Globo, the two Chinese companies expect the Brazil business to grow significantly once the country starts deploying its fifth-generation wireless technology (5G), and Oi’s 360,000 km (224,000 miles) of fiber infrastructure is seen as an attractive asset.

China Mobile did not respond to Reuters’ requests for comment, and Oi declined to comment.

Brazil’s largest fixed-line carrier has been struggling to turn around its business since it filed for bankruptcy protection in June 2016 to restructure approximately 65 billion reais of debt.

On Thursday, Reuters reported that, while negotiating its mobile network with Spain's Telefonica SA TEF.MC and Telecom Italia SpA TLIT.MI, Oi is also involved in preliminary talks with AT&T Inc T.N and another Chinese company.

Reporting by Gabriela Mello; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall