Satnews Daily
February 16th, 2010

Televisa — Financially Speaking (SatBroadcasting™)

Grupo Televisa, the Mexican broadcaster, has agreed to purchase a 30 percent stake in the Mexican telecommunications unit of NII Holdings for $1.44 billion in cash. By gaining a major stake in the unit, Comunicaciones Nextel de México, Televisa will hope to add wireless and broadband data services to its existing portfolio of pay TV offerings.

The two companies also indicated they intended to bid on wireless spectrum being auctioned by the Mexican government as part of an effort to increase competition. Nextel de México is working on building out its 3G cellphone network. Last week, Televisa won regulatory approval to buy up to a 40 percent stake in Nextel de México. Under the terms of the deal, which values Nextel de México at $4.3 billion, Televisa will make an initial $1.14 billion, followed by three annual installments. The deal gives Televisa the right to buy an additional 7.5 percent stake during either the third or the fourth year after the investment’s completion. Televisa will also gain the right to name two of Nextel de México’s six board members. Nextel de México will continue to be run by its current president, Peter A. Foyo, and its existing management team. NII Holdings, formerly known as Nextel International, is based in Reston, Virginia, and operates the Nextel brand in five Latin American countries: Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Peru. The company had about 7 million subscribers as of Sept. 30, according to its Web site. NII Holdings was advised by Lazard, while Televisa was advised by Allen & Company.