Spanish telecoms giant Telefonica has announced that it is launching preparations for an initial public offering (IPO) of its German unit and is considering potential listings of businesses in Latin America, accelerating the disposal process of non-core assets. Telefonica is struggling to cut its debt burden amid falling revenue and profit in its domestic market. The firm did not say how much of Telefonica Germany (O2) – the country’s fourth largest mobile network operator by subscribers – it would seek to list, nor did it specify which Latin American units were being considered. In the same statement, Telefonica revealed that it would be paying out EUR1.50 (USD1.90) per share to shareholders for 2012, but only EUR0.40 of the dividend would be in cash and the rest in a scrip dividend and share buybacks, which would take pressure off its cash flows. ‘All of these measures reflect Telefonica’s pledge to increase its financial flexibility and reach a debt ratio (measured as net debt/OIBDA) of below 2.35 times in 2012, while maintaining attractive remuneration for shareholders,’ the group said.