South of the Border, AT&T Strikes Again
Showing just how intent they are on their Mexican invasion, AT&T has made another acquisition just nine days after closing its purchase of Iusacell. This morning they announced a deal to purchase Nextel Mexico from NII Holdings, following through on rumors of their interest since fall.
They will be paying $1.875B for all of NII’s wireless properties in Mexico, including the spectrum, network assets, retail stores, and subscriber base of 3M. All of those will be combined with Iusacell and integrated into AT&T’s dream of a North American network spanning a population of 400M. According to AT&T, the Nextel Mexico assets will be particularly useful in expanding its reach in the country beyond the major metro areas.
Still in the wind are the assets that America Movil plans to spin off to please regulators. AT&T still could take a swing at those, although they are clearly not waiting to see what Carlos Slim plans to divest himself of to the competition he has worked so hard to limit.
The deal for Nextel Mexico will have to get approval not just from regulators but from a bankruptcy court back in New York, where NII Holdings is restructuring.