AT&T to sell Puerto Rico, USVI operations to Liberty Latin America for USD1.95bn

10 Oct 2019

Liberty Latin America (LLA) has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire AT&T Inc.’s wireless and wireline operations in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands in an all-cash transaction with an enterprise value of USD1.95 billion. The transaction includes network assets, including spectrum; real estate and leases; customers, including 1.1 million wireless subscribers; and contracts. At close, approximately 1,300 current AT&T employees will move to LLA. In Puerto Rico, which represents approximately 90% of the revenue of the assets to be acquired, AT&T is the leading provider of mobile services and also operates a fibre backhaul network.

Under terms of the agreement, AT&T will retain responsibilities for the FirstNet first responder programme as well as continuing to serve DirecTV pay-TV customers and preserving ‘certain global business customer relationships’. Further, AT&T has agreed to support LLA for a period up to 36 months following the acquisition, enabling the efficient transition of services. Following the acquisition, customers will continue to benefit from free roaming services between Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, mainland US, Mexico and Canada. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including reviews by the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Department of Justice (DoJ). The parties expect the transaction to close in Q2 2020.

TeleGeography notes that this deal represents LLA’s third notable takeover since its ‘split-off’ from UK-based Liberty Global plc in December 2017. In February 2018 it agreed to purchase an 80% stake in Costa Rica’s Cabletica for USD245.7 million and in March 2019 LLA agreed to acquire an 87.5% controlling stake in Curacao-based United Telecommunication Services (UTS) for USD165.4 million, going on to secure the remainder of the company in September 2019.

Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands (U.S.), AT&T, AT&T Communications (USVI), AT&T Communications Puerto Rico, Liberty Latin America (LLA), Liberty Puerto Rico