Brasil Telecom (BrT) will commence negotiations with a view to the acquisition of MetroRED within the next few weeks, said CEO Carla Cico during an international teleconference with analysts on Monday, August 12. She confirmed that BrT aims to acquire only 19.9% for now, as required by Brazilian law, but would like to acquire the rest at a later date. Asked about other possible acquisitions, she mentioned only Intelig. Analysts had expected to hear about the Globenet submarine cable. A deal had been discussed a week earlier but not approved by the board of Solpart, the holding company for BrT. Acquisitions of cellular operators aren?t being examined at present, ?but that doesn?t mean our strategy has changed,? she said. ?We continue to believe it will be important for BrT to acquire a mobile operator. All I?m saying is that we aren?t analyzing the possibility just now.? She defended acquisition of Intelig with the argument that the competitive long-distance carrier?s infrastructure could be highly useful when BrT starts operating nationally. She also said the current economic conditions in Brazil favor acquisitions because telecoms assets are cheap.
Regulatory targets ? Carla Cico reiterated the decision not to invest in fulfillment of regulatory targets this year. ?If we continue to meet projections, we will achieve the targets by the end of 2003,? she said, recalling that the cost of early fulfillment in the vast region covered by BrT would be prohibitively high. Telecom Italia Mobile (TIM) can?t begin operating until BrT, in which Telecom Italia is a major shareholder, completes its contractual obligations as a fixed-line incumbent (Region 2, comprising nine states in the Center-West, South and North).
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