Bank Boston questions TCO-Splice deal

Tele Centro Oeste Celular (TCO) reduced shareholder value by paying 470 million reals to acquire non-convertible debentures from Splice, its parent company (via Fixcel), in the opinion of Júlio Ziegelmann, a director of Bank Boston in Brazil. It was a lousy deal, Mr Ziegelmann says. TCO is one of the cheapest cellular telco stocks, he notes, but analysts are concerned about this deal and the possibility that Splice will continue to use TCO?s money without clear evidence it will repay. Mr Ziegelmann also doubts Splice will pay interest at fair market rates. Despite his concern about the Splice deal, he rates TCO?s management highly and notes the stock?s rising valuation until recently. It saw good opportunities to be sold at one time but today this is unlikely because of the crisis in telecoms. Even if it were sold, he says, the price would be depreciated by the fall in market cap. Nevertheless, TCO gained 3.33% between Monday, July 8 and Wednesday, July 10, closing today?s session on 3.72 reals. July 9 was a holiday in São Paulo and Bovespa was closed.

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