Mexico’s Televisa to buy 50 percent of Iusacell

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  • Posted on April 7, 2011

    UPDATE 2-Mexico’s Televisa to buy half of Iusacell-WSJWed, Apr 6 2011EMERGING MARKETS-Latam stocks slide, Brazil hit by tax jittersWed, Apr 6 2011UPDATE 1-Mexico’s Televisa to buy half of Iusacell-WSJWed, Apr 6 2011Mexico’s Televisa to buy stake in Iusacell-WSJWed, Apr 6 2011EMERGING MARKETS-Latam stocks hit 2-1/2 year, pullback seenTue, Apr 5 2011 Related Topics Deals » Global Deals Data 2011 Q1 » Inflows Outflows » Mexico » Stocks

    MEXICO CITY | Thu Apr 7, 2011 10:10am EDT

    MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico’s leading broadcaster, Televisa, said it struck a deal to buy a 50 percent stake in cell phone operator Iusacell for $1.6 billion, entering a market dominated by tycoon Carlos Slim.

    Televisa (TV.N) (TLVACPO.MX), which last year saw its plans to get into the Mexican wireless market collapse, will take a 50 percent stake in Iusacell (CEL.MX) convertible debt.

    The planned transaction, announced on Thursday, seems to bury the hatchet between Televisa media baron Emilio Azcarraga and TV Azteca boss Ricardo Salinas.

    Last year Salinas tried to stop Televisa from expanding into the wireless market. Salinas’ companies filed dozens of suits in Mexican courts complaining that Televisa and its then partner, NII Holdings’ (NIHD.O) Nextel Mexico, had paid too low a price for wireless spectrum. Eventually, those claims contributed to Televisa and Nextel Mexico parting ways.

    Slim, the Mexican billionaire who controls America Movil (AMX.N) (AMXL.MX) , Latin America’s leading wireless provider with 225 million clients, has been banned for years by the Mexican government from entering the television market in Mexico, which is controlled by Televisa and Azteca.

    Slim, the world’s richest man according to Forbes, is the main provider of pay television in Latin America with around 11 million subscribers. Mexico and Argentina are the only countries where he hasn’t been able to move into this market.

    (Reporting by Patrick Rucker and Cyntia Barrera; editing by John Wallace)


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