NII Hires UBS for Advice on Potential Asset Sales, Mergers

NII Holdings Inc., which offers Nextel mobile-phone service in Latin America, retained UBS AG for advice on potential strategic opportunities, including partnerships, a merger or a sale of the company or its assets.

NII has also hired Rothschild Inc. as a financial adviser to help modify its capital structure and improve its long-term liquidity, according to a statement today. The Reston, Virginia-based company said it may opt to refinance or restructure all or part of its debt.

Shares of NII tumbled 55 percent on Feb. 28 after the company said it may not be able to fulfill its financial obligations in 2015 and beyond. NII will have to “significantly” improve its operating performance and consider additional options to increase liquidity to fund its business, it said at the time. It said it has adequate funding for 2014.

NII, which announced in December that it would cut 1,400 jobs, reported a net loss of $745.8 million, or $4.33 a share, in the fourth quarter.

The company, which has units in Brazil, Mexico, Chile and Argentina, sold its Peru unit last year to Empresa Nacional de Telecomunicaciones SA for $400 million. Now, with the shares down 75 percent in the past year, NII’s entire market value is about $200 million.

The shares rose 1.8 percent to $1.13 at the close in New York. NII’s 10 percent notes due in 2016 were little changed at 50.5 cents on the dollar, according to Trace, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s bond-price reporting system.

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