Looks like more consolidation is in the works in Brazil's mobile industry. Voda getting involved would change a lot for Vivo Telefonica.
(Via GSMA News)
Report: Vodafone eyes stake in TIM Brasil
Vodafone has reportedly hired advisors to explore a possible acquisition of a stake in TIM Brasil, Telecom Italia’s Brazilian unit. According to local newspaper, O Estado de Sao Paulo, Vodafone has held talks regarding TIM Brasil with Telefonica, which indirectly holds a stake in the Brazilian operator via its existing shareholding in Telecom Italia. The Spanish firm has a 42.3 percent stake in Telco, the consortium that owns 24.5 percent of Telecom Italia. However, now that Telefoncia is in the process of taking full control of Vivo, its Brazilian JV with Portugal Telecom – and a competitor to TIM Brasil – the local regulator is expected to force it to dispose of its stake in Telecom Italia to avoid a possible conflict of interest. According to aBloomberg report, neither Vodafone nor Telefonica have yet to comment on the reports. For Vodafone, a move into Brazil would mark the UK-based firm’s first major push into Latin America for several years. The region is dominated by operators such as Telefonica and Mexico’s America Movil.
Telefonica’s indirect stake in Telecom Italia has also proved controversial in Argentina, where the Spanish group controls Telefonica Argentina but also has an indirect stake in rival operator Telecom Argentina via Telecom Italia (the Italian firm has a 50 percent stake in Sofora, the holding company that controls Telecom Argentina). Reports last week noted that Telecom Italia is set to approach the Argentinean regulators for approval to increase its holding in the business in order to address the issue, and could also integrate its activities in Argentina and Brazil.