Oi Surges After Report of M&A Interest From Billionaire Slim

  • Valor cites America Movil CEO interview on a potential deal
  • Slim’s telecom company has made similar comments on Oi before

Oi SA, the embattled Brazilian telecom operator, climbed after a newspaper report that Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim is interested in buying the company or some of its assets.

Slim’s America Movil SAB is monitoring Oi’s judicial-recovery process and any deals would depend on price, authorization from Brazilian regulators and details of Oi asset sales, newspaper Valor Economico reported. It cited an interview with America Movil’s chief executive officer, Daniel Hajj.

Oi filed the biggest bankruptcy in Brazil’s history in June, and this month submitted a proposal to settle with almost 67,000 creditors. The plan included a reduction of as much as 70 percent in the value of its bonds, as well as asset sales, new resources and the possibility of a merger or breakup.

“America Movil is open to evaluating all possibilities, but what Mr. Hajj said is that when we know what will be sold and what the conditions are, we’ll evaluate the case,” the Mexico City-based company said in an e-mailed response to questions.

It’s not the first time America Movil has expressed interest in the Rio de Janeiro-based carrier. In 2014, the telecom operator’s chief financial officer said on a quarterly conference call that the company would be open to considering a deal and was keen on participating in the consolidation of the Brazilian market.

Oi’s voting stock jumped a second day, adding as much as 7.4 percent to 3.63 reais in Sao Paulo, while preferred shares climbed 10 percent to 2.76 reais. Bonds maturing in 2022 rose 0.5 cents to 24 cents on the dollar.

A press official for Oi declined to comment.

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