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  HOME | Mexico

Salinas: Stake in Mexican Wireless Company Iusacell Not for Sale

MEXICO CITY – Mexican businessman Ricardo Salinas said on Wednesday that his holding company has no plans to sell its stake in No. 3 wireless firm Iusacell and will continue to invest in the company’s growth.

Spanish telecommunications giant Telefonica said on Wednesday in a regulatory filing that while it is engaged in a “negotiation process” regarding a company in Mexico, it has not “reached any agreement in that respect.”

“Telefonica says it wants to buy Grupo Salinas’ stake in Iusacell. It’s not for sale,” the chief executive said on Twitter.

Salinas said he is “very optimistic” about the future of Iusacell, in which Mexico’s No. 1 broadcaster Televisa and Grupo Salinas each have 50 percent stakes, because Mexico’s recent telecommunications overhaul provides the “certainty and confidence to keep growing.”

Grupo Salinas also owns Mexico’s No. 2 broadcaster, TV Azteca.

In the filing, Telefonica clarified an article published by Spanish daily El Confidencial, which said the company was wrapping up a deal to acquire Iusacell, valued at up to 3 billion euros ($4 billion).

In February, Mexican newspaper El Economista reported that Telefonica – whose Movistar Mexico unit is the No. 2 wireless operator, albeit a distant second to multi-billionaire Carlos Slim’s America Movil – and Iusacell were in talks to combine their operations.

America Movil, through its Telcel unit, controls around 70 percent of Mexico’s wireless market but it is looking to bring that market share below 50 percent to shed its dominant-player tag and accompanying heavy regulatory burden.

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