UK-based Vodafone Group is said to be eying up a possible acquisition in Brazil by buying one of its three leading operators, with TIM Brasil mooted as its primary target. An unconfirmed report in the O Estado de S Paulo newspaper suggests that the British group has told the relevant Brazilian authorities that it would prefer to purchase an existing provider, rather than bid in the upcoming – and now delayed – 4G mobile spectrum auction. The paper claims to cite a transcript of a recent meeting held in London between Brazilian authorities last month.
Given the ongoing machinations surrounding the ownership of several Brazilian operators – not least Telefonica’s struggles to comply with the antitrust watchdog Cade over its direct and indirect investments in Vivo and TIM Brasil respectively – Vodafone could be walking into a complex and uncertain market. The UK group already has an active partnership with Brazil’s Datora Mobile giving it a toehold in the country’s corporate and machine-to-machine (M2M) segments, but acquiring a full-blown network operator is an altogether bigger proposition.