Photo: Mexico's Carlos Slim Will Enter U.S. Wireless Market
Regional wireless giant America Movil, controlled by Mexican multi-billionaire Carlos Slim, said Thursday it has agreed to acquire a 100 percent stake in U.S. wireless carrier Simple Mobile, Inc., a unit of T-Mobile USA.
In a filing with the Mexican Stock Exchange, the Mexico City-based company said the deal was subject to “certain conditions as well as the granting of certain authorizations.”
America Movil said its U.S. unit, Tracfone Wireless, will acquire California-based Simple Mobile “in the second quarter of 2012.”
The filing did not indicate the cost of the acquisition but it said Simple Mobile is one of T-Mobile’s biggest mobile virtual network operators in the United States.
The company provides service to more than 1 million subscribers and offers voice, text messaging, data and wireless broadband services, the filing said.
America Movil is the largest provider of telecommunications services in the Americas with 246 million cellular subscribers, according to figures released in March.
The deal was made public three days after America Movil announced that it was seeking a stake of up to 28 percent in Dutch telecom company KPN to expand its presence in Europe.
America Movil, which operates in 19 countries across the Americas, was founded as a unit of Mexico City-based fixed-line giant Telmex in the 1990s but was spun off from its parent company in 2000.
Over time, it became bigger than Telmex and Slim, the world’s richest person with a net worth of $74 billion, unified control of his companies under America Movil in 2010.
America Movil has operations in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, the United States and Uruguay.
T-Mobile USA is the U.S. wireless subsidiary of Deutsche Telecom AG.