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Mexico's America Movil Acquires Nicaraguan Telecom Firm

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MEXICO CITY (Dow Jones) Mexico's America Movil, Latin America's largest mobile operator, said Thursday that it has acquired a Nicaraguan telecommunications firm as part of its expansion in Central America.

In a filing with the Mexican Stock Exchange, America Movil said it paid an undisclosed sum for 100% of the shares of Estesa Holding Corp., which provides cable TV, residential broadband and corporate data services.

The deal boosts America Movil's presence in Central America, where it has over 8.8 million wireless customers and about 2.2 million fixed-lines in Guatemala, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Honduras.

In May, America Movil filled a gap in its Central American coverage by winning a mobile telephony concession in Panama through a government-sponsored auction.

America Movil, which is controlled by Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, reported 165.3 million wireless subscribers in 17 countries at the end of June.

The Estesa deal is the latest acquisition of a Central American cable TV firm by a foreign investor.

Last month, Luxembourg-based wireless holding company Millicom International Cellular said it would pay $510 million to acquire Amnet Telecommunications Holding Ltd, which provides pay-TV, broadband and corporate data services in five Central American nations.

Millicom competes with America Movil in the wireless market in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Colombia, and Paraguay.

America Movil's L shares fell 2% Thursday to close at 25.14 pesos ($2.52).

-By Ken Parks, Dow Jones Newswires; 52-55-5001-5723; ken.parks@dowjones.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

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