Telefonica considering LatAm stake sale, report says

16 Feb 2018

Spanish telecoms giant Telefonica is considering selling a stake in part of its combined Latin America business in an effort to put a dent in its USD50 billion debt pile, Cinco Dias reports. The Spanish newspaper, which cites ‘market sources’, says that the group is likely to favour a deal with a private equity firm, such as US-based Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR), to whom it previously offloaded a 40% stake in its infrastructure unit, Telxius. Alternatively, Telefonica is said to be entertaining a possible stock market placement for selected regional assets. One unit that will be excluded from any sale process is Telefonica Brasil (Vivo) however, which remains one of the company’s strongest performing units.

Late last month Telefonica announced that it had divided its existing ‘Telefonica Hispanoamerica’ business into two new units ‘to allow a more effective management of different market situations’. ‘Telefonica Hispam Sur’ encompasses its businesses in Argentina, Chile, Peru and Uruguay, while ‘Telefonica Hispam Norte’ includes operations in Colombia, Mexico, Central America, Ecuador and Venezuela.

TeleGeography notes that Telefonica sold off a 40% stake in its Panama, El Salvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua-based businesses to Corporacion Multi Inversiones (CMI) for USD500 million in 2013.