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NII Holdings in Talks to Sell its Peruvian Business: Bloomberg Report (NIHD)

Shares of NII Holdings (NASDAQ: NIHD) leaped about 21.40% on Wednesday after the reports emerged that the  wireless communications services provider was in talks to sell its mobile phone business in Peru.

According to Bloomberg, a Peruvian daily El Comercio said that NII Holdings, which provides wireless services under Nextel brand in Latin American markets, is in advanced stage of talks to sell its Peru unit to Chile’s Empresa Nacional de Telecomunicaciones SA or ENTEL.

According to Bloomberg El Comercio citing unnamed sources familiar with the matter, reported that Entel would pay $500 million for acquiring NII’s business.

However, Claudia Restrepo, a spokeswoman at NII Holdings did not provide any immediate response to Bloomberg. Meanwhile, Entel press official also declined to throw light on the acquisition talks.

The Reston, VA based Company, which is reeling under pressure amid dwindling subscribers’ base and costs arising due to international expansion, is currently being led by its Chairman, Steven Shindler following CEO Steven Dussek’s exit in December. Back in November, the Company ousted the President of its Brazilian unit and in December announced that it will lay- off 20% of its total workforce in Reston.

In the fiscal fourth quarter, NII Holdings reported a loss of $592.9 million while the fiscal 2012 loss stood at $765 million.

Now in order to improve its performance, NII Holdings is contemplating to offload its business in Argentina, Peru and Chile and focus more on growth markets such as Brazil and Peru. Revenue from Peruvian unit slumped 2.3% in fiscal 2012 to $289.8 million amid intensifying competition which forced wireless communication services providers to slash call-rates.


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