(Yicai Global) Sept. 29 -- China Telecom Corp. [HK:0728] has denied it will buy Brazilian telecom operator Oi SA [NYSE:OIBR] and said it was actively seeking investment opportunities overseas, but has no current targets in its sights.
Brazilian telecom giant Oi SA filed a petition with a local court to restart negotiations and filed for bankruptcy protection after the failure of talks with creditors in June last year. Oi is Brazil's largest fixed-line operator and fourth-largest mobile operator, with a market share of 34.4 percent and 18.6 percent, respectively.
Ricardo Malavazi, Oi's chief financial officer said publicly Sept. 22 that the company had signed a confidentiality agreement to study the possibility of the deal with China Telecom, foreign media reported.
China Telecom added Goldman Sachs to the advisory board and as part of its general licensing agreement with China Telecom, Goldman is studying Oi's potential acquisition options. Talks are at a preliminary stage and China Telecom is working with private equity firm TPG on the deal, per the report.
China Telecom intends to gain control of Oi's overall business, including its fixed-line telephone and wireless networks. Because Oi is in bankruptcy protection and about USD19 billion in debt, any deal would have to involve shareholders, creditors and local government, the report advised.
China Telecom owns China Telecom Corporation Ltd [NYSE:CHA; HK:0728].