AT&T’s Mexico deal a cheap foothold outside saturated U.S. market

11/11/14 Reuters

cell-phone-imgaeAT&T’s $1.7 billion agreement to buy Iusacell, Mexico’s No. 3 cellular operator, puts it in the unfamiliar position of market underdog, owning an asset that may require billions in investment to catch up to the market’s two larger players. But analysts and investors say the deal could be a cheap way to get a foothold in Latin America’s second-largest economy and learn the market’s contours before plotting more ambitious acquisitions.To be sure, extending AT&T’s high-speed service across the border will require significant investment in Iusacell’s patchy network, marketing and new retail stores. That growth will put AT&T in direct competition with former ally Carlos Slim’s America Movil, whose shares have fallen some 3 percent since news of the deal.

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Mexico’s telecoms market seeks new signal

10/15/14 Financial Times

carlos slim

Mexico’s telecoms sector, for so long largely the preserve of Carlos Slim’s América Móvil, is in flux. Both Mr Slim and Ricardo Salinas, who bought out television powerhouse Televisa’s share in Iusacell, the country’s third-biggest mobile operator, are looking for new investment. Spain’s Telefónica, the second-biggest mobile company in Mexico with about a 20 per cent market share, hopes the merry-go-round will help it boost its muscle in a country where revenues lag most of its businesses elsewhere in Latin America. The shake-out is the result of tough new telecoms regulations intended to end América Móvil’s stranglehold on the sector. Mr Slim’s fixed-line Telmex service has 80 per cent market share while his mobile business Telcel has 70 per cent.

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Slim Says America Movil May Divest on Mexico West Coast

10/07/14 Bloomberg TV

carlos slimCarlos Slim, the billionaire chairman emeritus of America Movil SAB, and Anthony Kennedy Shriver, founder of Best Buddies International Inc., talk about their global campaign to highlight the benefits of hiring workers with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Slim also discusses business in Mexico, the outlook for American Movil and his partnership with Facebook Inc. Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg. They speak with Betty Liu on Bloomberg Television’s “In the Loop.”

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Slim Enriches Himself With Breakup He Resisted: Corporate Mexico

09/30/14 Bloomberg


Carlos Slim, the billionaire who successfully protected a telecommunications monopoly in Mexico for more than two decades, scored one of his biggest financial windfalls by finally giving into the government. Shares of Slim’s America Movil SAB (AMXL) have soared 24 percent this quarter, the biggest gain in five years, as the company said in July it would sell assets worth about $17.5 billion amid a push by lawmakers and regulators to force competition on the country’s dominant phone companies and broadcasters. The stock’s advance was almost four times the average for emerging-market telecommunications companies, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

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AT&T Strategy Chief Sees Opportunity in Mexico, Latin America

09/17/14 Bloomberg

cell-phoneAT&T Inc. (T) Chief Strategy Officer John Stankey said Mexico is poised for investment, and that he sees a lot of options, both near-term and long-term, in Latin America. Stankey’s comments at an investor conference were the clearest sign yet that the largest U.S. phone-service provider is interested in expansion into Mexico, where America Movil SAB (AMXL) plans to sell assets to invite a new competitor into the market. AT&T has also looked at Europe for potential investments, Stankey said. He didn’t mention any specific plans to expand in either region.

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AT&T Signals Interest in Mexico as Carlos Slim Unloads Assets

09/16/14 The Wall Street Journal

financeA top AT&T Inc. executive said the company is open to acquisitions in Mexico, where the telephone giant controlled by former partner Carlos Slim is planning to sell assets. América Móvil has said it would sell off parts of its sprawling operations to cut its market share to below 50% from about 70% to avoid a regulatory crackdown, creating a rare opening for an acquirer to get a foothold in the country.

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America Movil to Spin Off Mexico Towers Amid Breakup Plans

07/22/14 Bloomberg

Energy -electricity_transmission_linesAmerica Movil SAB is planning a spinoff of its wireless towers in Mexico as the company studies how to break apart its wireless and landline phone operations in the country, where tougher regulations are cutting into profits.

A spinoff will better reflect the value of the towers, which can be rented to competitors, Chief Executive Officer Daniel Hajj said today on a conference call. The company continues to work on a breakup plan to present to Mexico’s telecommunications regulator, which can revoke penalties against the carrier if its market share falls below 50 percent.

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