Telecom & Wireless

Strategic Alternatives May Not Save NII Holdings

NII Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: NIHD) is trying a Hail Mary pass. The troubled Latin American cellphone provider announced early on Monday that it has hired UBS Investment Bank to be its financial advisor. The aim is to explore and advise the company on potential strategic opportunities.

The term “strategic options” often creates hope, but this sounds like it could spell doom for the common stock holders.

These strategic alternatives include “creating partnerships or alliances, selling or merging one or more of the company’s business units or other strategic transactions involving the entire company.”

NII Holdings has also retained Rothschild Inc. as its financial advisor to explore and advise the company regarding opportunities for modifying its capital structure to improve its long-term liquidity position. This includes potential approaches that could lead to refinancing or restructuring all or a portion of its existing debt obligations.

What the company did not say, but is something that is very possible, is that it is highly likely that the common equity holders will end up with nothing or next to nothing here. NII Holdings is loaded with debt, and its business seems to have fewer and fewer rabbits left that can be pulled from the hat.

24/7 Wall St. has been following NII closely, as the Latin American Nextel player seems to be running out of options. Its last earnings report was atrocious, it is losing subscribers and the company even warned that it would face a liquidity issue if its business did not improve. Sadly, there seems to be little hint of improvement.

NII Holdings shares closed at $1.11 on Friday, against a 52-week range of $1.03 to $9.82. To prove how bad and dire things are: this stock is effectively at an all-time low.

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