America Movil SAB, the largest mobile-phone carrier in the Americas, said it’s discussing alternatives for its planned acquisition of Digicel Group Ltd.’s El Salvador unit because of regulatory restrictions on the deal.
The company in an e-mail today cited the failure to receive “satisfactory” government approval. Regulators approved the transaction on the condition that America Movil’s unit in the Central American nation shed 20 megahertz of wireless airwaves that could be granted to a competitor, El Mundo reported in September. America Movil also would have to maintain Digicel’s business strategy in El Salvador for five years, the newspaper said.
America Movil, based in Mexico City, is seeking to boost its market position in Central America to compete against Millicom International Cellular SA. The company said earlier today it completed the acquisition of Digicel’s Honduras unit and the sale of its own Jamaica unit to Digicel.
The companies announced the three transactions in March without disclosing financial terms.
At the end of 2010, Millicom led El Salvador’s mobile-phone market with about 36 percent of the nation’s almost 8 million subscribers, Pyramid Research said in a June report. A Digicel and America Movil combination in the country would control about 48 percent of the market, the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based research firm said.
America Movil, controlled by billionaire Carlos Slim, was little changed today in Mexico City trading. Kingston, Jamaica-based Digicel is closely held.