The Brazilian telecommunications company Embratel, owned by Telmex, acquired the 73% of the pay-TV operator Net's preferential shares for about USD 1,968 millions at a public offering. In order to gain total control, Embratel will have to wait for the approval of Bill 116 (former Bill 29), which is currently in the Senate and eliminates restrictions on foreign capital.
According to Sao Paulo Stock Exchange, more than 143 million preferential shares were negotiated for a value of USD 13,6 each one. Taking into account that the number of shares acquired by Embratel accounted for over two thirds of Net's circulating shares, during the next three months; that is, until January 13, 2011, holders of the remaining shares will be able to sell their shares at the price established in the public offering, to be updated according to Referential Rate variation.
In August, Embratel had announced its intentions to acquire the 100% of preferential shares with the purpose of "enabling an increase on Embratel's share of Net's capital stock in virtue of Embratel's and its shareholders' confidence in the pay-TV and broadband consumer market increase as well as the administration and business model developed by Net", as pointed out by a document signed by Isaac Berensztejn, Director of the relationship with investors.
The legal limit on foreign capital for cable operations has been set in a 49%, a situation that might change upon Bill 116 approval. In 2004, Embratel stepped in Net with the acquisition of shares owned by Globo. Net is the main operator in Brazil and Latin America with 3,8 million Pay-TV clients recorded as of 1Q2010 closing.
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