Mexico’s Televisa to buy 30 pct of cell provider Nextel to offer “quadruple play” service

By E. Eduardo Castillo, AP
Monday, February 15, 2010

Mexico’s Televisa to buy 30 pct of Nextel

MEXICO CITY — Mexican media giant Televisa said Monday it has agreed to buy 30 percent of cell phone carrier Nextel de Mexico for $1.44 billion as part of its plan to offer “quadruple play” — voice, video, Internet and wireless products.

The companies plan to bid together on wireless airwaves in a government auction planned for May, and the investment is subject to winning the auction and Nextel getting the spectrum to broaden its services.

“If the proposal we present in the auction is not successful, then we don’t do the deal,” Alfonso de Angoitia, Televisa’s executive vice president, told reporters on a conference call.

Grupo Televisa S.A., the world’s top producer of Spanish-language television programming, will have the option to buy an additional stake of 7.5 percent, the company said in a statement earlier Monday.

“With this partnership, we are accessing a platform with an experienced management team and a solid track record in the Mexican telecommunications industry,” Televisa Chairman Emilio Azcarraga Jean said in the statement.

Comunicaciones Nextel de Mexico, S.A. de C.V. is the Mexican subsidiary of cell phone provider NII Holdings Inc., which is based in Virginia and also operates in Argentina, Peru, Chile and Brazil. The company reported 5.8 billion wireless subscribers at the end of September.

The deal would give Televisa access to a cell phone market dominated by Telcel, the local unit of America Movil S.A. owned by billionaire Carlos Slim. Televisa already offers Internet, television and telephone landline services through three cable companies.

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