According to the Brazilian newspaper Teletime, at least two as yet unnamed parties have hired banks to conduct due diligence on mobile operator Nextel Brasil, a unit of NII Holdings. Speculation surrounding the sale of Nextel Brasil has been circling of late, and the announcement that firms are now lining up to consider formal offers comes after its US-based parent admitted recently it was looking for bankruptcy protection. Further, NII Holdings has already divested its Chile operation and is reportedly considering offloading its business in Mexico.
Nextel Brasil could be a prime target for its mobile frequencies in the 800MHz band (used for trunking services) and ‘H band’ 1,800MHz spectrum used throughout Brazil for advanced cellular services. However, the unit is stagnating: in FY2013, it booked revenue of USD2.208 billion, down 23% year-on-year. Nextel Brasil closed out the first half of the year with 4.2 million mobile accesses (3.1 million iDEN and 1.1 million 3G), up 8% compared to the first half of 2013. However, its legacy iDEN (trunking) business reported shedding net 742,000 connections in this period.