US telecoms giant AT&T Inc is evaluating a USD8 billion sale of its pay-TV operations in Latin America, Reuters reports, citing people familiar with the matter. The divestiture will help to fund the planned USD85 billion acquisition of media giant Time Warner Inc, which was unveiled in October 2016, but has yet to conclude. The AT&T insiders have named Telefonica, Millicom International Cellular (MIC) and Liberty Global as companies that are expected to express an interest in all – or parts – of the Latin American pay-TV business. AT&T is said to be working with financial advisers over the planned sale, but it may yet decide to keep the assets. Further, AT&T is not interested in selling its stake in Sky Mexico, as it operates a wireless business in that market.
TeleGeography notes that AT&T acquired the Latin American assets when it sealed the USD48.5 billion takeover of US-based satellite group DirecTV in July 2015. Outside of its domestic market, AT&T offers digital television services through subsidiaries and affiliated companies in Brazil (via Sky Brasil), Mexico (Sky Mexico), Puerto Rico, Argentina, Colombia, Venezuela, Peru and Ecuador, as well as parts of the Caribbean and Central America. AT&T’s ‘International’ segment reported 13.622 million Latin American pay-TV customers at 30 June 2017, of which 5.519 million were located in Brazil.