Brazilian operator’s parent company says regulatory process for buyout is progressing

Brazilian mobile operator Nextel added 65,000 new customers in the three months to the end of June, reversing the customer loss of around twice that figure it reported in the year-ago quarter.

The telco, a minnow in the Brazilian market, is due to be acquired by LatAm telco giant America Mobile later this year.

Parent company NII Holdings, which reported second-quarter figures on Tuesday – a formality, given that its one remaining business, Nextel, is now classed as a discontinued operation – said the process of gaining Brazilian regulatory approvals for the deal is ongoing and it expects the deal close in Q4.

America Movil in March agreed to pay US$905 million less net debt for Nextel Brazil; the transaction was given the green light by NII’s stockholders in late June.

As a result of the customer growth, Nextel ended the quarter with just over 3.5 million customers, giving it a market share of just 1.5%. By contrast, its new parent America Movil’s Brazilian unit Claro has more than 56 million customers.

Nextel Brazil generated operating revenues of US$145 million in Q2, which on paper appears to be a decline from the $156 million it turned over in Q2 last year. However, NII attributed the drop to forex issues and said that at constant currency levels the operator’s revenue grew by 1%.