(Bloomberg) -- Carlos Slim is taking control of ClaroVTR just two years after he set up the Chilean telecommunications company as a joint venture with John Malone.

The Mexican billionaire’s America Movil SAB agreed to boost its stake in ClaroVTR to 91%. Malone’s Liberty Latin America will hold the remaining 9% after it decided against maintaining the 50:50 split, according to a statement Monday.

Bonds of VTR Finance NV, the vehicle controlled by the joint venture, jumped following the announcement, with the $483 million of notes due 2028 soaring as much as 11 cents on the dollar to their highest level in two years, according to Trace data. Investors considered it tantamount to a guarantee of financial support from America Movil, a behemoth in the Latin American telecom market.

“It’s almost a free acquisition — and easier for everyone,” said Roger Horn, senior emerging-market strategist at Mariva Capital Markets. “It’s in line with our expectations that Slim would step in and some consolidation should help the telecom market there.”

Liberty’s disclosure last year that it held off from funding ClaroVTR had been fueling speculation that America Movil could snap up a controlling stake in the joint venture. The Mexican firm has been providing funding to the joint venture through notes that can be converted into equity. 

ClaroVTR was created in 2022 following the closure of the merger of America Movil’s Claro Chile SpA and VTR, owned by Malone’s Liberty. It supplies mobile phone services, broadband Internet, cable TV and fixed-line telephony.

--With assistance from Maria Elena Vizcaino and Carolina Gonzalez.

©2024 Bloomberg L.P.