America Movil aims to sell assets as quickly as possible

Wed Jul 9, 2014 4:17pm EDT
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MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexican telecoms company America Movil plans to divest assets as quickly as possible to escape tougher regulation, and it hopes to sell to a single buyer, spokesman Arturo Elias said on Wednesday.

The company controlled by billionaire Carlos Slim announced on Tuesday that it was ready to sell assets to cut its market share in Mexican telecoms below 50 percent and avoid regulations that apply only to dominant players.

Those new rules are part of a telecommunications sector overhaul approved by Congress in an attempt to curb the power of America Movil and broadcaster Televisa.

Shares of America Movil were up 8.69 percent at 14.6 pesos. The company has a market value of well over $70 billion. It has some 70 percent of the mobile market and is the dominant force in fixed line and Internet.

America Movil will have to sell 15 percent to 17 percent of its share in telephony to weigh in below the 50 percent threshold and still have margin to grow, and aimed to do so as quickly as it could, Elias said.

Speculation has already begun to swirl over who might buy the assets. Analysts have zeroed in on companies such as AT&T, which sold its stake in America Movil for $5.57 billion to a company controlled by Slim in June.

AT&T declined to comment.

"It would have to be someone who comes to Mexico to really invest in telecommunications, to create a true, tough competitor," Elias said.

He declined to name a price for the assets, which industry experts say could be worth well over $10 billion.   Continued...

The logo of America Movil is seen on the wall of the reception area in the company's corporate offices in Mexico City February 13, 2013. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido