Costa Rica clears Liberty Latin America’s Movistar buy

Costa Rica clears Liberty Latin America’s Movistar buy

Telefonica finally looks clear to shift its Costa Rican unit after the country’s President Carlos Alvarado Quesada granted authorisation for its acquisition by Liberty Latin America (LLA).

Following a review that satisfied its antitrust concerns, regulator Sutel (Superintendencia de Telecomunicaciones) approved the acquisition in June this year. The US$500 million cash purchase will be made via Cabletica ISP - in which LLA holds an 80% stake – and Telefonica Costa Rica will be combined with this unit.

The parties stated that they expected the deal to close by mid-August, saying: “Telefonica and Liberty Latin America are excited to complete the transaction and to combine Cabletica and Movistar in Costa Rica. The companies intend to close the transaction shortly.”

Telefonica first attempted to sell its Costa Rican unit - together with its Nicaragua and Panama businesses - to Millicom in February 2019. Regulatory hurdles and a clash between the parties derailed the deal, leading to it being abandoned in May 2020.

In July 2020, Telefonica agreed a deal with LLA that would see the latter firm acquire the Costa Rican unit for €425 million ($505 million).