Argentina blocks NII Holdings' sale of Nextel

Argentina’s telecoms regulator has rejected Grupo Clarin’s $178 million bid to acquire mobile operator Nextel.

The announcement comes after NII Holdings said it had agreed to sell 49% of Nextel Argentina to Clarin for $178 million. The proposed deal would also give the group the option to purchase the remaining 51%.

Argentina’s Autoridad Federal de las Tecnologias de la Informacion y las Comunicaciones (AFTIC) said that the proposed transaction violates the law as it was brokered without regulatory authorisation. 

"The board decided that the operation carried out on Sept. 14 of 2015, by which Nextel Communications Argentina sold 49 percent of its capital, violates article 13 of the law 27.078, because it was done without previous authorisation," said the regulatory body.

NII Holdings has sought to find a buyer for Nextel Argentina in order to focus on its remaining unit in Brazil. The company filed for bankruptcy in September 2014 as a result of debt and competition in both its operating countries.

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