Brasil Telecom

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Brasil Telecom Participações S.A.
Former type Sociedade Anônima
Traded as BM&F Bovespa: BRTO3,BRTO4
NYSE: BTM
Industry Telecommunications
Founded 1998 (1998)
Defunct January 9, 2009 (2009-01-09)
Headquarters Brasília, DF, Brazil
Key people Ricardo Knoepfelmacher, (CEO)
Products Fixed line and mobile telephony, internet services, digital television
Revenue Decrease US$6.5 billion (2010)
Net income Increase US$1.2 billion (2010)
Employees 20,451
Parent Oi
Subsidiaries Internet Group
Website www.brasiltelecom.com.br

Brasil Telecom S.A. (BrT, Portuguese pronunciation: [bɾɐˈziw te̞le̞ˈkõː]) was a major Brazilian telecommunications company headquartered in the Brazilian capital Brasilia. The company is one of three land lines, one long distance and eight mobile telephone companies in Brazil that emerged from the break-up of Telebrás. Originally the company was called Tele Centro Sul, because its service covered the states in the central and southern parts of Brasil, namely Acre, Rondônia, Goiás, Tocantins, Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, Paraná, Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul, as well as the Distrito Federal. Since January 9, 2009, the company is a subsidiary of Oi.

History[edit]

The Brazilian investment bank Opportunity, which managed funds that had Citigroup and some Brazilian pension funds as investors, alongside Telecom Italia, paid 2.07 billion reais in June 1998 to buy Tele Centro Sul from the Brazilian government as part of the privatization process of Telebrás. After some legal wrangling, the company is now controlled by Citigroup and the Brazilian pension funds, who removed Opportunity from the management of their respective funds and took control of the company in 2005. BrT started up a wireless service in 2004.

Brasil Telecom's stock is traded on BM&F Bovespa, where it is part of the Ibovespa index, as well as on the New York Stock Exchange.

In 2008, it was announced that Brasil Telecom would be acquired by Oi.[1] That transaction required changes in legislation, since legislation at the time prohibited a fixed telephone company from purchasing another fixed telephone company in a different license area. That legislation has since changed, and Oi completed its purchase of BrT on January 9, 2009.

Legal issues[edit]

Brasil Telecom, the country's third largest fixed-line operator, and Opportunity, which controlled Brasil Telecom, hired Kroll to determine whether Telecom Italia competed with Brasil Telecom in 2000 in the latter's acquisition of the Brazilian fixed-line phone company Companhia Riograndense de Telecomunicoes ('CRT') from Spain's Telefónica with the purpose of increasing the final price paid by Brasil Telecom for CRT, as both Opportunity and Telecom Italia were struggling for the control of Brasil Telecom. Brasil Telecom and Telecom Italia have been locked in court struggles since 2000. Kroll was accused of spying on Brazilian government officials. Additionally, Opportunity also became involved in legal disputes with the investors in its managed funds, namely some Brazilian pension funds and Citigroup, which culminated in Opportunity's removal as the manager of these funds and, ultimately, Opportunity's losing the control of Brasil Telecom (along with other companies controlled by the funds, namely Telemig Celular, Amazonia Celular, Santos Brasil, and Opportrans/Rio de Janeiro's subway operator).

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