Telefónica Ups Its Vivo Offer

11:10 AM -- Telefónica SA (NYSE: TEF) has increased its offer to buy partner Portugal Telecom SGPS SA (NYSE: PT) out of their Latin American joint venture, Brasilcel, upping its offer by €800 million (US$977 million) to €6.5 billion ($8 billion).

Telefónica made its first move to take full control of Brasilcel, which owns about 60 percent of Brazilian mobile giant Vivo Participacoes SA , in early May, but the Portugal Telecom (PT) board turned down the offer. (See Telefónica €5.7B Bid for Vivo Rejected.)

The new offer includes an alternative solution, or Plan B, as it's known in Hollywood: Telefónica buys one third of PT's holding for €2.17 billion ($2.65 billion) initially, with PT then having the option to sell the remaining stake at the same price-per-share within three years.

The PT board responded to the increased offer by saying the new price "does not reflect the strategic value of this asset," but said it would organize a "Shareholders’ Meeting so that PT’s Shareholders may come to a decision on the Offer." So there's a chance the offer will be accepted.

That news gave PT's share price a lift of 8 percent in early trading, but by mid-afternoon in Lisbon the stock was up by just 1 percent at €8.56.

Telefónica is also being linked to the potential acquisition of a 40 percent stake in Serbian national operator Telekom Srbija a.d. , according to Digital Media Europe.

— Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading

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