Goldman Sachs and UBS Warburg have advised Telemar to acquire the 75.6% of data service provider Pegasus the ILEC doesn?t already own rather than enough to give it a controlling share. Analysts were told about the recommendation at a meeting with Telemar last week. For more information, see the Web site of CVM, Brazil?s securities and exchange regulator. Telemar?s board now has to decide whether to bid for 100% of Pegasus or less. Only BNDES, the national development bank, can vote. Andrade Gutierrez, La Fonte and GP are debarred by conflict-of-interest rules because they?re shareholders in both Telemar and Pegasus. If the board approves a deal, it must be put before a general meeting of shareholders including those not represented on the board, such as pension funds Previ, Petros and Telos, as well as Opportunity, also a major shareholder in Pegasus. The meeting may be contentious. Sources in the pension funds say they?re opposed to a deal if the price is well above the market value of Pegasus. In January 2001 Telemar acquired 17.28% for 100.4 million Brazilian Reals. At that time TELETIME News estimated a premium of 1,400% based on investments made by the controlling shareholders only three months before.
At the same meeting with analysts Telemar said Oi, its PCS wireless subsidiary, is performing well and could achieve positive EBITDA before 2005. The subscriber base passed the 500,000 mark in September, only three months after startup. The business plan forecast that number in December. Targets for 2002 and 2003 are now being reformulated.