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Brazil: LetterOne backs down on Brazilian mobile merger

 |  March 1, 2016

Russian investment fund LetterOne, controlled by billionaire Mikhail Fridman, has pulled out of backing a proposed merger between Brazilian mobile operators Oi and TIM. The reason, quoted by Oi, is TIM’s reluctance to go through with the deal.

LetterOne had offered last October to inject up to $4 billion dollars into Oi in order to facilitate its buying of TIM, which is Telecom Italia’s Brazilian operation and second largest mobile operator in the country. Oi is the market leader in landlines and fourth place in mobile phones, trailing Telefónica’s Vivo, TIM and América Móvil’s Claro.

Oi released a statement to the Sao Paulo stock exchange, claiming to have heard from LetterOne that TIM “Is not interested in pursuing negotiations regarding a possible combination of its business with Oi’s Brazil operation”. The investment fund, based in London yet concentrating in Russia, has said that “without TIM’s participation we cannot continue at this moment with the operation as planned.”

Full Content: EFE

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