Three weeks after Portugal Telecom (PT) rejected an offer of €5.7 billion (US$6.9 billion) for its stake in Brazilian wireless firm Vivo, joint venture partner Telefonica has returned to the bargaining table with an improved bid of €6.5 billion (US$8 billion). The move by Telefonica constitutes a renewed attempt by Spain’s dominant telecom carrier to gain sole control of Vivo, the largest mobile phone operator in Brazil’s rapidly-growing wireless market. Currently, Telefonica and PT control Vivo through their joint venture, Brasilcel. Telefonica launched its initial offer of €5.7 billion for PT’s Brasilcel stake on May 10, but that offer was turned down by the PT board. Although Telefonica increased its offer upon receiving indications from certain PT shareholders that they would be willing to support a higher bid, the PT board stated Tuesday that Telefonica’s latest bid did not appear to reflect Vivo’s “strategic value.” PT officials have described Vivo as an integral part of the company’s core business and have said a departure from the Brazilian market would negatively impact PT’s long-term growth prospects. Like Telefonica, PT has also experienced stagnant revenue growth in its base European market and is reported to be keen on maintaining a foothold in a vibrant Brazilian sector where wireless subscribership surged by 17% during the past year alone. With respect to Telefonica’s revised bid, officials have confirmed that Telefonica is also giving PT the option of an immediate sale of its Brasilcel/Vivo stake or “executing the sale at PT’s sole discretion” over the next three years. If the offer succeeds, Telefonica intends to merge Vivo with its Brazilian fixed line carrier, Telesp. The PT board is expected to convene a meeting at which shareholders will vote on the bid.