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Grupo Televisa to buy stake in wireless firm

The world's largest Spanish-language broadcaster is paying $1.44 billion for a 30% interest in NII Holdings' Mexican unit.

February 16, 2010|Bloomberg News

Grupo Televisa is getting into the wireless market.

The world's largest Spanish-language broadcaster on Monday agreed to buy a 30% stake in the Mexican unit of mobile carrier NII Holdings Inc. for $1.44 billion in cash.

Televisa said it would have the option to acquire an additional stake of 7.5%. The companies will be able to collaborate on telecommunications and entertainment services.

Televisa is seeking a mobile-phone and wireless Internet service to add to the video, Web and home-phone plans it offers through three Mexican cable TV carriers. The company aims to take more customers from Telefonos de Mexico, the nation's largest land-line phone company, which doesn't sell wireless or TV service.

NII, the Reston, Va.-based carrier that uses the Nextel brand in Latin America, is the smallest of Mexico's four wireless carriers, with less than 4% of the market, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. America Movil leads with 72%, followed by Telefonica with 20% and Grupo Iusacell with 4%.

Televisa won approval last week from Mexico's antitrust agency to buy up to 40% of the NII unit.

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