Case Study

Telefónica’s bid for the mobile market in Brazil (C)

3 pages
June 2012
Reference: IMD-1-0361

Case A of this series sets the scene for the largest merger and acquisition (M&A) deal in the telecom industry in Brazil and Latin America. Cases B to F follow on by relating the events up to the deal’s conclusion. The sequencing of this story creates a sense of urgency for readers and forces them to take position on different questions at different times. Events began in 2003 when a 50:50 joint venture (JV) between Portugal Telecom (PT) and Spain’s Telefónica acquired 60% of Vivo, the leading Brazilian mobile operator. In the subsequent years, Vivo experienced double-digit annual growth, as it reaped the benefits of its own heavy investments and booming consumer demand. In May 2010, Telefónica made a €5.7 billion cash bid for PT’s share of the JV. According to Telefónica, this was a full, fair and final offer. How would PT’s board regard the bid? On the one hand, it represented a 100% premium on Vivo’s pre-announcement stock price. On the other hand, it was a terrible blow to the PT Group’s international aspirations. Moreover, the occasionally conflicting views of the general public and the government had the potential to complicate matters further. Lastly, this deal also had important international implications. The case shows how: a) corporate governance practices vary across countries, including environments where there are dual-class shares; and b) the role of corporate governance in ensuring that managers undertake activities that maximize shareholder value as well as serving the needs and strategy of the company. The case also allows for an in-depth analysis of a variety of strategic, organizational, financial and economic issues related to growth strategies through JVs and M&As. The key focus of the case is on the links between finance and strategy.

Learning Objective

Joint ventures; Mergers and Acquisitions; Dual class shares; Emerging markets; Corporate governance; Strategy; Valuation analysis.

Joint Venture, Mergers and Acquisitions, Investor Relations, Corporate Governance
South America, Brazil
Portugal Telecom, Telefónica, Vivo, Services, Telecommunications
Published Sources
© 2012
Available Languages
Related material
Teaching note
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