Spain's Telefonica will acquire control of Brazil's largest cell phone operator, Vivo, in a newly sweetened 7.5 billion euro ($9.77 billion) deal with Portugal Telecom, the companies said Wednesday.
Telefonica and PT said their boards had approved the transaction, which has been in the works for months and was initially vetoed by the Portuguese government.
The Spanish telecoms company has agreed to buy PT's 50 percent stake in Brasilcel, a Dutch holding company which in turn owns 60 percent of Vivo. Telefonica already owns the other half of Brasilcel.
The agreed amount is 350 million euros more than Telefonica's last offer to PT. PT's shareholders accepted it in late June, but the Portuguese government blocked the deal by exercising special voting rights. The European Union's Court of Justice then ruled the government's blocking of the deal was illegal.
In all, Telefonica has raised its bid three times from an initial 5.7 billion euros in May.
Telefonica is eager to expand its significant presence in the fast-growing Latin American sector, where it has an important foothold in burgeoning markets such as Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, Venezuela and Brazil.
Brazil's economy is booming, in contrast to Telefonica's home territory of Spain which is struggling to emerge from nearly two years of recession.
PT is Portugal's largest telecommunications operator and the Portuguese government demanded it maintain a foothold in Brazil as it did not want to lose PT's Brazilian revenue stream.
In a statement announcing its board approval, PT said it will use some of the proceeds from the sale to acquire up to a 23 percent stake in Oi Group, another Brazilian cell phone company.
© Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.