December 21, 2014
After buying chilean branchFriday, August 22, 2014
Garfunkel confirms interest in Nextel Argentina
Business tycoon Matías Garfunkel yesterday confirmed his intention to buy mobile service provider Nextel Argentina and said conversations on the matter are already taking place after NII Holdings Inc — which operates the Nextel brand in Latin America — agreed this week to sell its Chilean branch to a group of companies that includes media conglomerate Grupo Veintitrés led by Garfunkel and Sergio Szpolski.
“Along with US and British partners we acquired Nextel Chile and I’m interested in Nextel Argentina,” Garfunkel told Radio del Plata. “Some conversations are already taking place, but confidentiality agreements prevent me from revealing any details of the transaction.”
The businessman added that the Argentine office of Nextel “is interested in expanding its cell phone operations to include 4G — the place where technology is leading us.”
The idea is to broaden the spectrum so as to improve the quality of cell phone service, Garfunkel concluded.
The sale of Nextel Chile — and the possible sale of its Argentine office — responds to the harsh financial scenario faced by NII Holdings, which reported its ninth quarterly loss in a row earlier this month. The firm, which has recently hired financial firms to advise on a potential sale of the company, said it will not be able to continue to operate unless it can “restructure debt obligations, find a strategic solution or some combination of those approaches.”
The company ended the second quarter with a net debt of US$4.8 billion and with US$1 billion in cash and investments.
Herald with Télam