Spain’s Telefonica de Espana SA looks set to buy a stake in Mexico’s Avantel SA, according to a Reuters source which claims the deal is 100 confirmed. The Spanish telecommunications firm could buy up to a third of Avantel, the Mexican joint venture between MCI Communications Corp and Grupo Financiero Banamex Accival, which currently have 45% and 55% shares respectively. Telefonica already has a joint venture with British Telecommunications Plc and MCI to develop its business in Spanish-speaking Latin America. Vanamex is expected to remain the majority shareholder. Telefonica de Espana says it is in talks to take a stake in Mexican long distance company, Avantel SA but has denied that the deal has been concluded. According to a Reuters report, sources had said that the deal is 100% confirmed. The Spanish carrier could buy up to a third of Avantel, a joint venture between MCI Communications Corp and financial group Banco Nacional de Mexico (Banamex), which currently have 45% and 55% shares respectively. A deal with Telefonica is expected to leave Banamex as the majority shareholder. According to Telefonica, no details have been concluded but talks are continuing. Avantel launched its services, the first public service competition to state-owned national telco, Telefonos de Mexico, in November last year and now has 11% of the long distance market in Mexico City against Telmex’s 70%.
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