Oi CEO Zeinal Bava resigned before closing Portugal Telecom merger

Oi Chief Executive Officer Zeinal Bava has resigned, the Brazilian telecom service provider said in a filing.

Bava’s resignation comes almost one year after he announced the merger deal with Portugal Telecom, which is scheduled to close in the fourth quarter.

Chief Financial Officer Bayard Gontijo will take over as CEO until the board nominates a successor, Bloomberg reports.

According to news reports, GVT Chief Executive Amos Genish may be the new chief executive officer of Oi.

Bava, who became CEO in June 2013, has tried to save Oi by participating in the consolidation of Brazilian telecom companies as they face intense competition.

The total debt of Oi stands at around $19 billion. Bava is leaving the telecom operator less than 3 months after its Portuguese partner was forced to absorb $1.13 billion in debt from a unit of Espirito Santo International, Bloomberg report said.


Brazil telecom market trends

Telefonica, which owns the Vivo brand in Brazil, decided to buy Vivendi’s GVT broadband provider last month. GVT Chief Executive Amos Genish has been invited to lead Oi, Valor Economico newspaper reported today.

Rio de Janeiro-based Oi hired Banco BTG Pactual in August to study the possibility of buying Telecom Italia’s stake in its Brazilian group Tim Participacoes.

Last week, Bloomberg reported that Tim is said to have hired Banco Bradesco to negotiate an acquisition of Oi.

Altice, billionaire Patrick Drahi’s cable holding company, is said to be seeking to acquire Portugal Telecom assets, and Oi said last month it wanted to sell its stake in Africatel Holdings.

Ambika M
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