Telefonica mulls Colombia IPO

10 Apr 2013

Spanish telecoms giant Telefonica is reportedly considering a partial listing of its Colombian business in a bid to trim its debt burden, Reuters reports. Telefonica has hired Bank of America Merrill Lynch to study the option of an initial public offering (IPO) of Movistar Colombia, in which Telefonica has a 70% stake and the government holds the remaining 30%. TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database notes that in March 2012 Telefonica agreed a deal to merge its wholly owned wireless unit Telefonica Moviles Colombia with fixed line operator Telefonica Telecom, then held 50/50 by Telefonica and the Colombian government. Under the terms of the tie-up, Bogota would take over 48% of the telco’s pension payment obligations and the combined company – thereafter united under the Movistar Colombia name – would be held 70% by the Spanish group and 30% by the Colombian state with the option for the latter to increase its stake by 3% in 2015.

Colombia, Spain, Telefonica Colombia (Movistar), Telefonica Latinoamérica Group