Telecom Italia Mobile (TIM) could be forced to slash its valuation of in two if it realistically wants to sell the Venezuelan mobile operator, according to Pyramid Research. Last November CANTV agreed a USD450 million deal to purchase Digitel, wholly owned by Telecom Italia Mobile (TIM), and merge it with its own wireless unit Móvilnet. However, earlier this month Venezuelan regulator Comisión Nacional de Telecomunicaciones (Conatel) rejected CANTV’s proposal over fears for competition in the market. The merged company would have gained control of around half the market and effectively reduced the sector to a two-way battle between itself and Telefónica Móviles subsidiary Telcel. With TIM now trying to offload Digitel in a buyers’ market it could be forced to sell the operator for as little as USD200 million. América Móvil, the Latin American mobile group controlled by Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim Helu, is one such group rumoured to be weighing up a bid for the cellco.
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