Brazil’s last state-owned telecommunications company was sold to the Bordeaux investment fund at auction at B3 this afternoon (09). Copel Telecom, which belonged to the state of Paraná, was auctioned for R $ 2.395 billion, almost R $ 1 billion more than the minimum bid defined in the auction.
Copel Telecom, considered one of the best operators in Brazil, was part of the state-owned electricity distributor Copel, which continues to be owned by the government, but is publicly traded on the stock exchange. Its telecommunications division had the social mission of bringing optical fiber to 100% of the municipalities of Paraná, being the first company to achieve this feat.
With such infrastructure, Copel Telecom is still the leader in optical fiber in the state, but its advantage for giant competitors such as Vivo and Oi has been decreasing. At its peak, the company dominated 67% of all fiber connections in Paraná and achieved the best consumer ratings in the sector across the country.
The government of Paraná decided to sell and tele because it is no longer interested in investing in the sector, which requires billionaire and periodic contributions to keep the company growing and competitive. Even so, Copel Telecom was very profitable. The company’s net revenue was R $ 410 million in 2019.
In addition to the Bordeaux fund, Algar Soluções was the main competitor in the auction, but ended up losing the dispute for the operator. The bidding war, however, helped the government put almost R $ 1 billion more in its coffers.
The fund has not yet revealed what its plans are for Copel Telecom as of now.