Liberty Latin America (LLA) has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Telefonica Costa Rica (Movistar) from Madrid-based Telefonica in an all-cash transaction valued at USD500 million. Movistar is Costa Rica’s second largest mobile provider, serving 2.3 million mobile subscribers as of 30 June 2020. The cellco boasts approximately 90% LTE population coverage. The transaction is subject to certain customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals, and is expected to close in the first half of 2021. Balan Nair, President and CEO of Liberty Latin America, commented: ‘We have had great success in Costa Rica through our 2018 investment in 80%-owned Cabletica, a leading fixed provider in the country and one of LLA’s fastest growing businesses and are excited to increase our investment in the country … This transaction comes at an attractive valuation, consistent with our disciplined approach towards M&A.’
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, in February 2019 European telecoms group Millicom International Cellular (MIC) agreed a EUR503.0 million (USD570.7 million) takeover for Telefonica Costa Rica. While the transaction was approved by the Superintendency of Telecommunications (Superintendencia de Telecomunicaciones, Sutel) in September 2019, additional regulatory approvals were not forthcoming, and Millicom terminated the Share Purchase Agreement (SPA) on 1 May 2020.