Cash-strapped Brazilian operator Oi has hired Citigroup Global Markets Brasil as lead financial advisor and BTG Pactual Investment Banking as co-advisor, as it evaluates the strategic alternatives involving the monetization of its FTTH business, UPI ClientCo.
The business unit, UPI ClientCo, consists of the operation of providing broadband services via fiber optics to the retail and business segments
At present Oi is the third-largest Internet service provider in Brazil, with around 4.9 million subscriptions. Comms Update notes that close to 4.4 million are FTTH-based subscriptions.
Oi's financial struggles date back many years, with the operator first filing for bankruptcy in 2016 as debts hit $19.2 billion.
It led to the company being put in what was then Brazil's biggest-ever bankruptcy protection, which the company only exited after six years last December.
Earlier this year, Oi completed the sale of selected tower infrastructure to NK 108 Empreendimentos e Participacoes (NK 108) – an affiliate of Highline, which is a subsidiary of US private equity company DigitalBridge. The deal includes 8,000 telecom towers.