América Móvil is hoping AT&T has an eye for Mexico. The company is apparently soliciting offers for assets along the east coast of Mexico, according to a report from Bloomberg.
When asked about the report during an investor conference on Tuesday, AT&T Chief Strategy Officer, John Stankey, said that such a deal would make sense given his company’s existing operations in Mexico and the proximity of Mexico to the United States.
“If we weren’t looking at Mexico and Latin America more broadly, what opportunities there were to further shareholder returns down there and begin to diversify our revenue sources, I think we would be asleep at the wheel,” Stankey said, “and we’re not historically known to do that. So, yeah, we are intrigued by it.”
The Bloomberg report adds that América Móvil may also be looking to sell to BCE Inc.’s Bell Canada and China Mobile Ltd. The assets, which could value $17.5 billion, include infrastructure up and down Mexico’s east coast.
Billionaire Carlos Slim owns América Móvil, which has been paying antitrust fees for some time now. América Móvil currently controls about 70 percent of the wireless market in Mexico and 80 percent of all landlines. Slim is looking to sell some of the company’s asset in order to that share below 50 percent, which would alleviate the anti-trust fines.
Slim’s holding company, Inmobiliaria Carso, recently announced that it is prepared to buy back AT&T’s 8.2 percent stake in América Móvil.
AT&T is unloading its nearly $6 billion worth of America Movil shares as it seeks regulatory approval for a $49 billion purchase of DirecTV. DirecTV is a direct competitor with América Móvil’s cable TV service.