America Movil is one of Latin America's leading telecoms and pay TV groups with a footprint stretching well beyond its home market of Mexico into Brazil, Argentina and several other Latin and Central American markets. It has also established a presence in Europe through selective acquisition. The group operates in Mexico as Telcel - the dominant local mobile carrier with almost 70% local share - and fixed line operator Telmex. However, its most widely spread business is Claro, the leading carrier in Brazil in terms of total mobile, fixed line and pay-TV customers (Telefonica's Vivo is bigger by mobile subscribers), and extending to 14 other regional markets. In 2019, the group paid almost $650m to acquire Telefonica's operations in Guatemala and El Salvador, and another $905m for Nextel in Brazil. The group also controls Telekom Austria, trading as A1 at home or Vip and Mobiltel in other Eastern European markets, through a majority shareholding; as well as US prepaid MVNO service TracFone. The latter markets brands including Straight Talk, Net 10 and, as of the end of 2016, Walmart Family Mobile. America Movil tried but failed to take control of KPN of the Netherlands in 2013 but remains its biggest shareholder with around 21%. The group's total mobile subscriber numbers were almost 276m by the end of 2018, including 75.4m in Mexico, 56.4m in Brazil and almost 30.0m in Colombia. It also had 21.7m in the US and 21.0m across Europe. Revenues for 2018 were around $52.7bn, of which just over a third was generated in Mexico, a quarter in Brazil and almost a fifth in the US. Net profit was approx $2.8bn. The group was formed from the acquisition in 2000 of Telcel, the mobile operations spun off from formerly state-controlled telecoms group Telmex. The remaining operations of Telmex were acquired a decade later. The Claro network was launched in Brazil in 2003 following the acquisition and merger of a series of regional operators. America Movil acquired an initial stake in Telekom Austria in 2012, and took majority control in 2014. The group is controlled by Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim and his family. Daniel Hajj is CEO (and also Carlos Slim's son-in-law).
Capsule checked 10th October 2019
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Adbrands Daily Update 15th Sep 2020: Further consolidation in the US wireless market looks likely in the wake of T-Mobile's takeover of Sprint. Verizon this week agreed terms for the acquisition of prepaid specialist TracFone from Mexican telecoms giant America Movil. The smaller company serves around 21m customers under a variety of banners, including StraightTalk, Net10, SafeLink and Simple Mobile. Verizon is the biggest mobile operator overall in the US, but currently has only a small exposure to the less lucrative prepaid market. The TracFone purchase will push it into the lead in that sector with 25m customers, ahead of T-Mobile. The price tag is around $6.9bn. The deal would also mark America Movil's exit from the US market.
Adbrands Weekly Update 29th Jan 2015: AT&T pressed ahead with its strategic expansion into Mexico, with its second acquisition in that market in three months. It has offered around $1.9bn to buy Nextel Mexico, adding an additional 3m subscribers to its portfolio, on top of the 9m or so it will gain from the addition of Iusacell, whose purchase was announced last November. The two deals would give AT&T a strong #3 position in Mexico behind market leader America Movil and Telefonica Movistar, and also create what the company is hyping as "the first-ever North American mobile service".
Adbrands Weekly Update 13th Nov 2014: AT&T took a step into new markets with a deal to acquire Mexico's third largest mobile company Iusacell for $2.5bn. That adds around 8.6m subscribers, only a modest addition to the telecoms giant's current 100m-plus customers, but the main motivation for the deal is to open a new front against Mexico's dominant carrier America Movil, which also happens to be a challenger in Latin America pay-TV to satellite service DirecTV, which AT&T is in the process of acquiring (subject to regulatory approval). Additionally, America Movil is expected to offload certain wireless infrastructure assets soon to comply with requirements that it reduce its 70% local market share. AT&T/Iusacell aims to be first in line to snap these up too. Mexico's #2 mobile service is Telefonica's Movistar with around 21% share.
Adbrands Weekly Update 17th Oct 2013: America Movil withdrew its offer to acquire Dutch telecoms group KPN after the two sides failed to agree on price. KPN's controlling foundation activated a so-called "poison pill" defence earlier this year to combat what it considered was a hostile approach from America Movil's owner Carlos Slim, issuing new shares in order to take majority control of the business. That move effectively blocked Slim's attempts to acquire the shares in KPN he didn't already own. However the Mexican has refused to raise his bid above the €2.40 per share already on the table.
Adbrands Weekly Update 15th Aug 2013: Still in the telecoms sector, Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim announced plans to take full control of Dutch telecoms group KPN through his America Movil holding company, potentially threatening the proposed merger of that company's German subsidiary E-Plus with rival O2. As KPN's largest single shareholder, Slim has already voiced his dissatisfaction with the price being offered by O2 for E-Plus. However, his complaints were dismissed rather curtly by KPN's board, and this lack of courtesy may in part have prompted this latest move. Some commentators suggested that he was also partly motivated by a wish to provoke O2's parent company Telefonica, which happens to be America Movil's biggest competitor in Latin America. The takeover bid offers €7.2bn for the 70% of KPN America Movil doesn't already own. KPN's controlling foundation has demanded that Slim provide more details of what his intentions are for the group if he were to succeed in his bid, and specifically if he plans to block the O2 deal. If so, KPN is likely to deploy the poison pill defence favoured in the past by Dutch companies, in which new stock would be issued to dilute America Movil's current holding.
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