Copel Telecom privatization may generate technological pole in PR

The purchase of Paraná operator Copel Telecom for R $ 2.4 billion this Monday (9) by the Bordeaux investment fund (which is behind businessman Nelson Tanure) follows an objective announced when the group acquired another operator from Paraná, Sercomtel, in September. On the occasion, businessman Márcio Tiago Arruda, speaking on behalf of the other investors, said that a technology hub would be created in Londrina, to be expanded outside the state. With the arrival of Copel Telecom to the group, the plans could be much more ambitious.

Bordeax has invested heavily in this project: the control of Sercomtel Telecomunicações cost the group R $ 130 million, with the expected transfer of assets within one year. Investors will also assume the debt of R $ 600 million in lawsuits and obligations due to the National Telecommunications Agency (Anatel) and will still need to invest R $ 130 million in the operator, capitalizing the asset.

As for Copel Telecom, the investment fund did not reveal the plans for the company, which is profitable, but had been losing space to larger operators, such as Vivo and Oi. The state-owned company managed to bring fiber optics to 100% of the municipalities, and arrived to be responsible for 67% of all fiber connections in Paraná.

From losses to profits

The fund’s biggest investor is Nelson Tanure, whose specialty is to buy troubled companies and sell them at a profit. The best known case is that of Intelig, acquired in 2008 with a debt of R $ 100 million, and sold, a year later, for R $ 750 million to Telecom Itália.

Entrepreneur Nelson Tanure: controversial trajectory marked by profitable purchases.Entrepreneur Nelson Tanure: controversial trajectory marked by profitable purchases.Source: Exame / Germano Lüders / Reproduction

In 2016, the fund invested in Oi, already under judicial reorganization. In the dispute for shareholder control with creditors, Tanure ended up selling his stake to the holding company Pharol.

Because of this, with the purchase of Sercomtel, it was speculated whether the operator would become an “arm” of Oi in the region. Investor Marcio Tiago Arruda talked about it and said that “dr. Tanure wants to make the company grow on its own and go beyond Londrina “. If Sercomtel is absorbed by Copel Telecom, which is headquartered in Curitiba and covers the entire PR, perhaps this will be achieved.

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