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Brazil's Oi ends exclusive talks with Digital Colony's Highline - source

Credit: REUTERS/PAULO WHITAKER

Brazilian telecom Oi SA ended exclusive negotiations on Monday with Highline do Brasil, a portfolio company of U.S. private equity firm Digital Colony, for the sale of its mobile assets, a source familiar with the matter said.

SAO PAULO, Aug 5 (Reuters) - Brazilian telecom Oi SA OIBR4.SA ended exclusive negotiations on Monday with Highline do Brasil, a portfolio company of U.S. private equity firm Digital Colony, for the sale of its mobile assets, a source familiar with the matter said.

Highline presented the best bid for Oi's mobile unit on July 18, which had a minimum value established by the Brazilian telecom firm of 15 billion reais ($2.86 billion).

Four days later, however, telecoms operators TIM Participacoes TIMP3.SA, Telefonica Brasil SA VIVT4.SA and America Movil SAB de CV's AMXL.MX Claro submitted a joint 16.5 billion reais ($3.15 billion) new bid for Oi's mobile assets, higher than Highline's offer.

Oi kept its exclusive talks with Highline after that, but decided to terminate it after Digital Colony's portfolio company did not raise its bid for the mobile unit, the source said.

Highline has also presented bids for other two units of Oi. It has delivered a binding proposal to acquire Oi's tower unit for 1.08 billion reais and also a non-binding offer for the company's fiber unit.

It is unclear, however, how Oi will proceed now at the end of the exclusive talks with Highline. The telecoms companies had demanded from Oi the right to cover potential new bids by rivals. They also offer Oi a long-term contract to rent its telecom infrastructure.

Contrary to Highline, which has a small presence in Brazil, the telecoms firms would come under careful scrutiny as they are the top three players in the country.

Highline and Oi did not immediately comment on the matter.

Newspaper Valor Economico reported earlier on the end of Highline's exclusive talks with Oi.

($1 = 5.2420 reais)

(Reporting by Carolina Mandl; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

((carolina.mandl@thomsonreuters.com; +55 11 5644 7703; +55 11 97116-3806;))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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