Sources inform ''Globes'' that high-tech tycoon Zaki Rakib and Judy Shalom Nir Mozes are teaming up with George Soros to jointly invest $500 million in a 4G mobile venture in Brazil's Sao Paulo State. The move comes after Rakib abandoned his investment in Hebrew daily "Ma'ariv" and hooked up with Shalom Nir Mozes, the sister of Noni Mozes, the owner of rival daily "Yediot Ahronot".
Two years ago, Rakib and Mozes set up a private equity fund, JZ (for their initials), to invest in recreation and health companies. JZ has made no substantial investments, but the Brazilian mobile market now beckons and will become the fund's first big investment.
Rakib, Mozes, and Soros, through his private equity fund, Soros Fund Management, will reportedly invest an initial $180 million in the Brazilian venture. They have set up a company, Quattro, to handle the investment. The company reportedly already has licenses to set up a 4G network in Sao Paulo State, which has a population of over 40 million. The company has a 70 megahertz spectrum for LTE technology, which is considered more advanced than WiMAX, as it can provide a wide range of broadband services, including internet access, in addition to mobile communications.
Rakib and Mozes's interest in Brazil is obvious, as the B in BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China). It has one of the fastest growth rates in Latin America, and will host the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games. Both events will boost demand for mobile communications across the country, and not just in Sao Paulo, indicating the huge potential for Rakib and Mozes's investment.
Quattro will reportedly not be satisfied with the licenses it already has, and will seek more licenses to expand its deployment. Sao Paulo State is Brazil's business and financial center, accounting for a fifth of the country's population of 203 million. Despite this, its communications infrastructure lags far behind those of Western countries, hence the need for massive outlays nationwide, and in the state in particular.
Rakib made his fortune with Terayon, a developer of cable communications solutions, and a pioneer in its field. He sold the company to Motorola five years ago for $140 million.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on March 13, 2012
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