Deal or No Deal? Meet the Regional ISPs Driving M&A in Brazil


By Tom LeinsJul 26, 2023


Earlier this month, Brazilian regional ISPs Vero Internet and AmericaNet agreed to merge their respective operations.

Vero currently ranks as the seventh-largest ISP in Brazil; AmericaNet is eleventh. The enlarged entity will jump to fifth place in the fixed broadband market.

The deal seems highly likely to spark further consolidation. Regional fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) players have flourished in recent years, with a number of fast-growing ISPs snapping up operations in and around their regional strongholds.

As of May 2023 (most recent official data), 16 Brazilian ISPs served more than 250,000 subscriptions, suggesting the time is right for a sustained period of M&A activity.

Let’s take a look at the companies that have been driving M&A in Brazil in recent years.

Alloha Fibra

Current Ownership: EB Capital
Subscription Base: 1,491,822 (May 2023)
Market Position: 4th

EB Capital—run by Eduardo Sirotsky Melzer, Fernando Iunes, Luciana Antonini Ribeiro, and Pedro Parente—entered the Brazilian telecom sector with the acquisition of Sumicity, which was agreed in December 2018 and concluded in April 2019.

The group went on to acquire a number of additional broadband providers, including Mob Telecom, GIGA, Vip Telecom, Wirelink, Univox, Click Telecom, Niu Fibra, and Ligue Telecom. Initially known as EB Fibra, the company rebranded as Alloha Fibra in October 2021.

In May 2022, Alloha Fibra reportedly hired Lazard to orchestrate a sale of its fiber-optic assets, although no sale ever came to fruition.

The group currently presides over a 110,000 kilometer fiber backbone and FTTH infrastructure that passes around 7.8 million homes in 280 towns and cities.

EB Capital indicated recently that the refreshed market landscape will see the company revert to acquisition mode. According to EB co-founder Pedro Parente, “In this market, Alloha will be a consolidator.”


Current Ownership: HIG Latin America (38%) and founder Denio Alves Lindo (19%), with the remainder floated on the B3 stock exchange
Subscription Base: 968,478 (May 2023)
Market Position: 6th

Desktop was founded as Desktop Online Informatica by Denio Alves Lindo in 1997. On January 21, 2019, the company merged with SigmaBBS Comercio e Informacao por Teleprocessamento, becoming Desktop Sigmanet.

In November 2020, HIG Latin America—the regional offshoot of Miami-based HIG Capital—completed the acquisition of a controlling stake in São Paulo-based Desktop Sigmanet via its Makalu unit. The company was previously owned by its founder and CEO Denio Alves Lindo and his partners. Post transaction, Lindo retained a 29% stake.

Desktop successfully staged an initial public offering (IPO) on July 21, 2021, generating total funds of BRL715.22 million (equivalent to a share price of BRL23.50). Shares were listed via the B3 stock exchange in São Paulo.

As a result of the share sale, Denio Alves Lindo saw his stake drop from 29% to 19%, while the interest held by co-owner Makalu (which manages HIG’s stake) was reduced from 59% to 38%.

In March 2021, HIG Latin America was said to be evaluating the acquisition of up to ten fiber-optic ISPs in São Paulo. The operators in question were required to serve at least 10,000 customers and generate annual revenues of BRL10 million, the company indicated.

Desktop went on to seal takeover deals for Netion Solucoes (March 2021), C-Lig Telecomunicacoes (May 2021), Starnet (August 2021), Net Barretos (August 2021), LPNet (September 2021), IDC Telecom (December 2022), and Fasternet (January 2023).

Today, Desktop offers a suite of triple-play services (fixed broadband, pay-TV and fixed voice) via fiber-optic networks that pass 4.235 million homes in 180 municipalities across the state of São Paulo—including the likes of Americana, Capivari, Campinas, Campo Limpo Paulista, Cordeiropolis, and Sumare.

Vero Internet

Current Ownership: Vinci Partners
Subscription Base: 812,423 (May 2023)
Market Position: 7th

Vero Internet was created by Vinci Partners—an alternative investment platform specializing in asset management—back in January 2019.

Since its inception, Vero has carried out a total of 18 regional acquisitions.

Since its inception, Vero has carried out a total of 18 regional acquisitions, including: BD OnLine, NWNet, efibra, G4 Telecom, Powerline Internet, Viaceu, Viareal, City10 Telecom, MKA Telecom, Clic Rapido, INB Telecom, Empire Telecom, Plug Telecom, Neorede Telecom, GTC Internet, Giganet, and Renovare. The most recent deal involved the takeover of Midwest ISP Fixtell.

Via its various brands, Vero currently offers FTTH connectivity in around 204 towns and cities in the south and Minas Gerais.

On August 18, 2021, the company submitted an IPO request to the Securities and Exchange Commission of Brazil (Comissao de Valores Mobiliarios, CVM). The IPO request was withdrawn in January 2022, due to unfavorable market conditions.

In July 2022, it was reported that FiBrasil—the infrastructure company co-owned by Telefonica and Canadian investment firm Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec (CDPQ)—was exploring a BRL2.8 billion takeover of Vero Internet. No deal materialized, however.

Vero Internet and AmericaNet agreed to merge their respective operations on July 11, 2023. It has been decided that Vero will absorb AmericaNet by acquiring the entire shareholding of the latter’s direct parent company, Meppel. In return, Meppel will be granted a 44% stake in the enlarged entity.

This merger is subject to applicable regulatory approvals from the National Telecommunications Agency (Anatel) and the Administrative Council for Economic Defence (CADE).

Unifique Telecomunicacoes

Current Ownership: Unita Participacao (65.04%), free float (25.0%), and various individuals (9.96%)
Subscription Base: 662,519 (May 2023)
Market Position: 10th

Regional ISP Unifique Telecomunicacoes was founded in Timbo, Santa Catarina in 1997. Today, it offers broadband connectivity to 240 municipalities across Santa Catarina, Paraná, and the surrounding area.

In August 2019, Unifique announced the acquisition of fellow southern operator WBT, which is based in São Bento do Sul (also Santa Catarina). Then, in May 2020, Unifique agreed takeover deals for three smaller broadband providers based in its home state of Santa Catarina: Infoway, Snet, and Station. 

In May 2021, Unifique filed an IPO request with the Securities and Exchange Commission (Comissao de Valores Mobiliarios, CVM). The IPO, which was coordinated by XP, BTG Pactual, and Itau BBA, duly commenced on July 27, 2021.

Shares were sold via the B3 stock exchange in São Paulo, under the “FIQE3” ticker symbol. They were priced at BRL8.60 apiece—at the lower end of the previously published indicative price range (BRL8.41-BRL10.49)—and generated a total of BRL818.07 million.

Subsequent takeovers include Neofibra, Grupo TKnet, and Zappen (all August 2021); MKS NET, TVC, Fibramaxx, and Click SBS (all October 2021); Sygo Internet (March 2022); and ViaWebRS (December 2022).

Going forward, the ISP intends to pass one million homes with fiber by 2025.


Current Ownership: Warburg Pincus (via Meppel)
Subscription Base: 609,769 (May 2023)
Market Position: 11th

AmericaNet is a B2B telecom provider headquartered in São Paulo. The telco has a presence in 240 municipalities across 26 states and the Distrito Federal, and presides over a fiber network spanning 50,000 kilometers.

U.S. private equity firm Warburg Pincus acquired a controlling stake in AmericaNet (understood to be around 37%) from Axxon in 2019. The deal was valued at $100 million. The U.S. investor later increased its stake in the ISP to 99.9%.

In recent years, AmericaNet has pursued inorganic growth opportunities via the takeover of multiple smaller players.

In recent years, AmericaNet has pursued inorganic growth opportunities via the takeover of multiple smaller players.

These include Celerix (October 2021), Omni (December 2021), Byteweb (June 2022), New Master Telecom and Mega Fibra (August 2022), plus Opyt and ConectCor Telecom (October 2022). AmericaNet’s most recent takeover deal involved the acquisition of Link Mais—a smaller provider which serves parts of São Paulo, Limeira, and Cordeiropolis—in November 2022.

Note that a number of these deals were negotiated by boutique M&A firm IT Investimentos, which was said to be supporting AmericaNet with its inorganic expansion plans.

As previously mentioned, AmericaNet and Vero Internet agreed to merge their respective operations on July 11, 2023.

Triple Play Brasil (Alares)

Current Ownership: Grain Management (97.3%) and unknown minority shareholders (2.7%)
Subscription Base: 506,265 (May 2023)
Market Position: 12th

Triple Play Brasil is a São Paulo-based telecom holding company that has acquired 18 regional ISPs since March 2015. The company, which originally used the Conexao Fibra brand, rebranded as Alares in November 2022.

In August 2020, the company filed an IPO request with the CVM, only to withdraw from the process ahead of the October 14 listing date.

In July 2021, U.S. private investment firm Grain Management agreed to acquire a majority stake in Triple Play Brasil, but the value of the deal was not disclosed.

The company is now 97.3%-owned by Grain’s Condor Fundo de Investimento em Participacoes Multiestrategia, with the remaining 2.7% stake held by unnamed minority shareholders.

Companies acquired by Alares to date include: Cabo Telecom and Multiplay (both 2015); Tecnet, Conexao, Alegra, and Direta (all 2018); Mega, Agily Telecom, and Outcenter (all 2020); and Starweb, Webnet, and Waynet (all 2021).

Today, the group has a presence in more than 100 cities across the states of São Paulo, Minas Gerais, Rio Grande do Norte, Ceará, Paraíba, and Bahia. Alares currently presides over 13,700 kilometers of fiber infrastructure, which passes 1.7 million homes.

New call-to-action

Tom Leins

Tom Leins

Tom Leins is a Senior Research Analyst for TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database. Based out of the company’s UK office, he also contributes to the company’s daily CommsUpdate newsletter, which includes his popular weekly MVNO Monday round-up. MVNO industry aside, Tom has developed a strong specialization in the U.S., Latin America, and the Caribbean, tracking mergers and acquisitions, spectrum auctions, regulatory developments, market opportunities, and growth trends.