Televisa acquires 30% stake in Nextel Mexico

Move to pave way for nation's first quadruple-play service

MEXICO CITY -- Mexican media giant Televisa has agreed to acquire a 30% stake in Nextel Mexico for $1.44 billion in a move to offer the nation's first quadruple-play service.
In recent years, Mexico's top network has aggressively expanded operations beyond its core broadcast TV unit as it turns to investments in convergence platforms. Sales of bundled TV, broadband and telephony services have soared at Televisa-owned cablers Cablevision and Cablemas. With the Nextel deal in place, Televisa hopes to add mobile phone service and wireless Internet to the mix; the partnership is the latest player to enter a government auction for coveted wireless spectrum.
"With this venture, we will be able to offer to our customer base the first quadruple play in Mexico, which paves the way for a successful integrated media and telecom strategy," Televisa CEO Emilio Azcarraga Jean said.
The deal also allows Televisa the option to purchase an additional 7.5% equity interest in Nextel Mexico, a subsidiary of NII Holdings, at a later date.
The new telecom venture pits Televisa and Nextel against America Movil, the nation's dominant wireless phone carrier owned by Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim. If successful in the upcoming spectrum auction, NII Holdings CEO Steve Dussek says Nextel Mexico will be able to transform its business here with the deployment of 3G network capabilities.