NII completes sale of Nextel Argentina for $178 million
Clients NII Holdings, Inc.
Jones Day advised NII Holdings, Inc. ("NII") in completing the sale of 100 percent of Nextel Communications Argentina S.R.L. ("Nextel Argentina") to Grupo Clarin S.A. for an aggregate cash consideration of $178 million. The sale was structured as a transfer of a 49 percent equity interest in Nextel Argentina to Grupo Clarin on September 11, 2015, and included the grant of a call option, secured by a promissory note and equity pledge in favor of Grupo Clarin, for the remaining 51 percent equity interest in Nextel Argentina. On January 27, 2016, Grupo Clarin exercised its call option and NII transferred the remaining 51 percent of Nextel Argentina to subsidiaries of Grupo Clarin. Nextel Argentina provides wireless services in major business centers including Buenos Aires, Cordoba, Rosario, and Mendoza, along related transportation corridors and in a number of smaller markets.
This is the first transaction being reviewed by Argentina's new communications regulator, ENACOM, which was recently established by Argentina's newly-elected President Mauricio Macri once he took office in December 2015. The transaction is subject to approval by ENACOM.
Argentina's former President Cristina Kirchner attempted to block the transaction when it was first announced in September 2015. AFTIC, Argentina's former telecommunications regulator, created by former President Cristina Kirchner, rejected the initial sale of the 49 percent interest in Nextel Argentina to Grupo Clarin and the overall transaction and took regulatory action against Nextel Argentina to void the transaction.