SAO PAULO -(Dow Jones)- Brazil's largest cellphone company Vivo Participacoes (VIV) has bought Telemig Celular Participacoes (TMB) and Amazonia Celular (TCN) at auction for 3.5 billion Brazilian reals ($1.8 billion), according to sources cited by local business daily Gazeta Mercantil Friday.
Vivo - which is jointly controlled by Spain's Telefonica (TEF) and Portugal Telecom (PT) - is not commenting on the report, said a company spokesman.
A Telemig spokesman also said it is not commenting on the result of the auction.
If Vivo has won the auction, it would take a commanding lead in the Brazilian cellphone market, while also adding coverage in the key state of Minas Gerais.
Telemig Celular operates in Minas Gerais state and has approximately 3.5 million clients.
Meanwhile, Amazonia Celular operates in the sparsely populated northern states of Amapa, Maranhao, Para and Roraima and has approximately 1.3 million clients.
Vivo is the current cellphone market leader with 30 million clients.
In January, Telemig Celular confirmed that U.S. investment bank Merrill Lynch & Co. (MER) would coordinate the sale of Telemig and its sister company Amazonia Celular.
Tele Norte Leste Participacoes (TNE), or Oi, and America Movil (AMX) also bid for the assets, the report said.
TIM Participacoes (TSU), Brazil's No. 2 operator, did not bid, the report said.
-By Alastair Stewart; Dow Jones Newswires; 5511 3145-1479; email@example.com
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