US-based NII Holdings, which provides wireless services under the brand Nextel in Brazil, Mexico, Argentina and Chile, has announced that it has retained UBS Investment Bank as its financial advisor to explore and advise the company on potential strategic opportunities. These include creating partnerships or alliances, selling or merging one or more of the firm’s business units or other strategic transactions involving the entire company. Concurrently, NII Holdings has retained Rothschild as its financial advisor to explore and advise on opportunities for modifying its capital structure to improve its long-term liquidity position, including potential approaches that could lead to refinancing or restructuring all or a portion of its existing debt obligations.
TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database notes that as a step towards realigning its business, Nextel Peru was sold to Chilean operator Entel for around USD400 million in April 2013, allowing NII to refocus its capital and resources primarily in its core markets of Mexico and Brazil, which it says offer the greatest opportunity for strong, long-term returns. Last month, however, NII Holdings posted a 17% year-on-year decline in consolidated operating revenues to USD4.773 billion for 2013, reporting a net subscriber loss of 247,000 in Q4, including 390,000 in Mexico. Adjusted OIBDA fell 66% to USD324.3 million, primarily driven by incremental investments related to the deployment of next generation networks, while NII’s consolidated net loss widened to USD1.650 billion from USD765.2 million in 2012.