Spanish telecoms giant Telefonica has hired New York-based multinational investment bank Citi to oversee the sale of its Hispanoamerica business, El Confidencial reports. CEO Jose Maria Alvarez-Pallete is said to be anxious to have a sale agreement in place before the group’s next general meeting of shareholders, which is tentatively scheduled for June. The spun-off entity – which will comprise Telefonica’s operations in Argentina, Chile, Peru, Uruguay, Colombia, Mexico, Ecuador and Venezuela – has been valued at between EUR11 billion and EUR13 billion (USD12.2 billion to EUR14.4 billion).
The Spanish business daily says that Millicom International Cellular (MIC) and Liberty Latin America (LLA) have been identified as Telefonica’s preferred buyers, on account of their existing presence in the region, coupled with their financial capacity. Despite early interest from a regional consortium, the group is understood to be less inclined to sell the assets to investors not currently active in the sector.
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, in November 2019 Telefonica unveiled a five-point ‘action plan’, which Alvarez-Pallete said will serve as a catalyst for the company’s future transformation. Going forward, the group will seek to prioritise its businesses in Spain, Brazil, the UK and Germany.