Spanish telecoms group Telefonica has said it plans to list its German unit on the stock exchange in the fourth quarter of the year. ‘We have decided swift action including preparation for an initial public offering (IPO) of Telefonica Germany in the fourth quarter,’ Reuters cites company chairman Cesar Alierta as saying during an analyst conference call. Last week it was reported that Telefonica had hired UBS and JP Morgan Chase & Co to prepare an IPO for Telefonica Germany, which provides services under the brand O2. Telefonica, which is struggling to cut its debt burden amid falling revenue and profit in its domestic market, is believed to be looking to raise as much as EUR1.5 billion (USD1.8 billion) from the sale of a potential 20% stake in its German arm. Telefonica had earlier explored the possibility of a merger of its local unit with E-Plus, the German wireless business of the Netherlands’ KPN Telecom, which at the time was fending off an unsolicited offer by Mexico-based America Movil (AM). However, last month KPN announced it had failed to find a buyer for E-Plus, citing ‘adverse conditions in financial markets’ as the reason behind the collapse of talks, and shortly after AM succeeded in its bid to increase its stake in the Dutch telco to 28%.