Oi to sell cellular towers and data centers targeting Capex boost

Brazilian telecoms carrier Oi is planning to sell noncore assets such as cellular towers and data centers, Reuters reported.
Telecom towers in rural locationsThe company aims to raise between 1.5 billion reais and 2 billion reais or $404 million-$545 million from the divestment of noncore assets. Oi has hired Bank of America Merrill Lynch, the report said.

Oi raised around 3 billion reais by selling more than 3,600 cellular towers to the Brazilian unit of SBA Communications in transactions closed in 2013 and 2014. This was before filing for the largest ever bankruptcy proceeding in Latin America. Oi filed for bankruptcy 2-1/2 years ago to restructure 65 billion reais in debt.

The company plans to make investments aimed at improving its mobile and broadband operations and boosting its market share. Oi has forecast capital expenditures of 7 billion reais a year over the next three years.

Investment firms Solus Alternative Asset Management, GoldenTree Asset Management and York Capital Management Global Advisors last year became Oi’s largest shareholders after converting their debt in the company into equity stakes as part of its restructuring.

The distressed asset managers that are Oi’s top shareholders plan to focus on improving the company’s mobile and broadband operations rather than a near-term sale of their stakes, the report said.