AT&T to buy Nextel Mexico’s wireless assets for $1.88 billion
AT&T will buy Nextel Mexico – the mobile assets of NII Holdings – for $1.875 billion, in a move to expand its Latin American presence.
The deal includes all of NII’s mobile properties in Mexico, including spectrum licenses, network assets, retail stores and around 3 million subscribers.
The deal will strengthen AT&T’s efforts to create a major Mexican mobile player to compete with Carlos Slim’s America Movil.AT&T completed its $2.5 billion deal for lusacell this month.
“The acquisition of Nextel Mexico will support AT&T’s plans to bring greater competition and faster mobile Internet speeds to the Mexican wireless market,” the operator said in a statement.
“AT&T plans to create the first-ever North American Mobile Service area covering over 400 million consumers and businesses in Mexico and the United States, and Nextel Mexico’s subscribers will be included.”
NII Holdings, which runs Nextel operations in Latin America, filed for bankruptcy in September amid heavy debt and competition in Brazil and Mexico.
The deal with AT&T, subject to approval by the US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York and regulatory approvals in Mexico, is expected to close by mid-2015, according to NII.
“We believe that the sale of Nextel Mexico represents an opportunity to reduce our operational risk, deliver value to our stakeholders and provide the liquidity that will position us to emerge from Chapter 11 reorganization with a healthy balance sheet and fund our business plan in Brazil,” NII’s CEO, Steve Shindler said.