Thursday, 30th September 2010 by Emiliano Mellino

Telefónica has paid its first instalment of €4.5 billion (US$6.1 billion) to Portugal Telecom in the €7.5 billion deal to take control of Brazilian mobile phone operator Vivo.

Vivo is Brazil′s biggest mobile phone operator

The payment was made on Monday after the Spanish company got approval from Brazilian telecoms regulator Anatel last Thursday, with the help of Machado, Meyer, Sendacz e Opice Advogados. The regulator, which only placed conditions on some aspects of the 3G network deal, said that this consolidation would not affect the earlier approval given to Telefónica for its acquisition of a stake in Telecom Italia.

"Anatel understood that the restrictions and conditions imposed by it by the time of the approval of the Telecom Italia deal continue to be sufficient to lock any interference by Telefónica in the Brazilian operations of Telecom Italia," explains a Brazilian telecoms lawyer who chose not to be indentified.

The Brazilian antitrust regulator, CADE, which has the power to impose further conditions or block the acquisition, has yet to make a ruling. In the meantime the transfer and changes in the board and management of Vivo and its holding company, Brazilcel, are already taking place.

The next step for Telefónica will be to launch a tender offer for Vivo′s remaining common shares. Credit Suisse will act as banker for the deal and Machado Meyer as legal counsel.

The acquisition was agreed by the companies in July, after a tug of war between the two boards that was finally resolved at the European Court of Justice. At one point, Telefónica said that it would take the case to the Permanent court of Arbitration at the Hague.

Counsel to Telefónica

Spain

·         Uría Menéndez

Partners Cándido Paz-Ares in Madrid and Carlos Costa Andrade in Lisbon 

Portugal

·         Cuatrecasas, Gonçalves Pereira

Partner Manuel Castelobranco 

Brazil

·         Machado, Meyer, Sendacz e Opice Advogados

Partners Moshe Sendacz, Fernando Tonanni, Luiz Felipe Duarte Martins Costa and Adriana Pallis, and associate Estevão Gross Neto 

Counsel to Portugal Telecom

Portugal

·         Garrigues Abogados

Partner Diogo Leonidas in Lisbon 

Brazil

·         Souza, Cescon, Barrieu & Flesch Advogados

Partners Maria Cristina Cescon, Carlos Augusto Junqueira and Fabíola Cammarota de Abreu and associates Ricardo Freoa, Cristina Ramos and Joyce Honda 

(Latin Lawyer 30.09.2010)

(Notícia na Íntegra)