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Colombia’s Isa Said to Buy NQT in Brazil for $88 Million

Interconexion Electrica SA ESP, a Colombia-based energy and telecommunications company, acquired Nelson Quintas Telecomunicacoes Ltda. for about 200 million reais ($88 million) to obtain a fiber-optic network in Rio de Janeiro, according to two people familiar with the matter.

The deal has been completed and may be announced as soon as this week, the people said, asking not to be identified because the acquisition hasn’t been made public yet.

Telecommunications companies are amassing fiber-optic networks to offer faster Internet speeds to corporate clients. In Brazil, Rio-based Tim Participacoes SA acquired AES Atimus Group in 2011 for 1.52 billion reais and said this year it’s looking for similar transactions to gain more fiber.

Isa, as Medellin-based Interconexion is known, purchased NQT through its Internexa unit from Porto-based Nelson Quintas & Filhos, which according to its website owns the biggest privately owned fiber-optic network in Rio. ISA already operates in Sao Paulo, Brazil’s biggest market for fiber optics, through the Internexa unit.

HSBC Holdings Plc is advising Isa on the acquisition, and Credit Agricole SA is advising NQT, the people said.

Isa, NQT and Credit Agricole officials didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment. An official at HSBC declined to comment and asked not to be identified in keeping with company policy.

Regional Operation

Isa’s technology includes fiber optics, satellite transmission and microwave-supporting networks, according to its website. The company is creating a regional network by integrating operations in Colombia with Transnexa, its subsidiary in Ecuador, and Internexa in Chile and Peru, according to the website.

Internexa has access to more than 12,000 kilometers (7,458 miles) of fiber-optic networks in Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Chile and Venezuela and plans to acquire 6,000 kilometers in Brazil and Argentina. As a so-called carrier of carriers, the company sells or leases bandwidth on its own infrastructure to other telecommunications carriers to resell to their customers.

In Brazil, ISA also owns Cia de Transmissao de Energia Eletrica Paulista. The company is also one of the largest international transporters of electric energy in Latin America, with a network of 40,805 kilometers of high-voltage transmission circuits in Colombia, Peru, Bolivia and Brazil and international connections between Venezuela and Colombia, Colombia and Ecuador, and Ecuador and Peru, according to the website.

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