Sale of Telecom Argentina to minority shareholder of Pay-TV operator Cablevision was approved


The Government of Argentina approved the sale of the shares held by Telecom Italia on the telephony and broadband company Telecom Argentina to Mexican investment fund Fintech, owner or 40% of the stocks of Cablevision (Grupo Clarin), the main Pay-TV operator in that country.


Fintech would buy in the coming days from Telecom Italia its 68% share in Sofora Telecomunicaciones (the remaining 32% is owned by Grupo Werthein), company that controls the investment firm Nortel, proprietor of 54.7% of Telecom Argentina.


Fintech presented in January 2016 to the National Communications Entity (Enacom) of Argentina a re-consideration resource for an offer made in 2013, for a value of USD 960 million, initially accepted by Telecom Italia. The option had been prevented by the Government of former President Cristina Kirchner for considering the investor lacked experienced and patrimony.


On that instance, the fund had assured that it would sell its shares in Cablevision to suit the participation limits which set the now-amended Media Law. For the Enacom, the operational weight of Fintech on the Pay-TV operator reaches only 14.3%, so there are no impediments for the transfer.


Despite not being able to offer television, Telecom Argentina provides Video On Demand (VOD) services through its OTT Arnet Play (IPTV) and Personal Video (mobile). By presidential decree, phone companies must wait until at least 2018 before they can enter the Pay-TV market.