Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Telefonica looks to sell out of Central America for $600m

By Chris Kelly, Total Telecom
Thursday 17 January 19

The Spanish telecoms giant has been weighing up the decision since September but discussions have recently gathered momentum, according to reports in the press

Telefonica is considering exiting its positions in Guatemala and El Salvador, in a move that could generate $600m for the Spanish based telco.  Telefonica is present in both markets through its Movistar brand…

Telefonica is considering exiting its positions in Guatemala and El Salvador, in a move that could generate $600m for the Spanish based telco. 

Telefonica is present in both markets through its Movistar brand, and holds a significant market share in both countries. In Guatemala, Telefonica is the third biggest mobile network operator whilst in El Salvador it is the second biggest. 

Spanish language newspaper, El Economista, reported that the company had been considering divesting its options in the two countries since at least September 2018.

El Economista suggests that the most likely buyer of Telefonica's Movistar business would be Claro, owned by America Movil, however, this could throw up a number of regulatory complications as America Movil is also present in both markets. 

Telefonica has been steadily reducing its levels of debt over the last 18 months and is thought to be considering a number of divestments across the world. The company's total debt stood at €42.6 billion as of September 2018. 

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