Are more Telefonica sales on the way in Latin America?

Are more Telefonica sales on the way in Latin America?

According to a number of news outlets, operator Liberty Latin America is considering an acquisition of Telefonica’s businesses in Colombia and Ecuador.

It’s worth pointing out that this has not been confirmed officially. However, the two companies are said to have held talks about a potential deal, according to sources that could not be named.

Bloomberg says that Telefonica Colombia reported about $678 million of operating income last year. The Ecuadorian unit generated about $234.5 million.

Liberty Latin America has already spent – or agreed to spend – significant sums on AT&T’s operations in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, as well as on Telefonica’s Costa Rican unit, so this is far from a new venture for the group.

In fact Liberty Latin America is already a leading telecommunications company operating in over 20 countries across Latin America and the Caribbean under the consumer brands VTR, Flow, Liberty, Más Móvil, BTC and Cabletica.

There may be a question mark over a Colombia sale as the local government holds a stake. That said, Telefonica may be keen on getting a deal done because, as regular readers will be aware, it has been working to reduce its presence in Latin America.

As we reported last year, four core markets – the UK, Spain, Germany and Brazil – are to be prioritised. The Latin American businesses (except Brazil) may be spun off into a single unit or sold.

This news, if confirmed, would signal another major change of ownership in the region following recent reports of the sale of Brazilian carrier Oi’s mobile unit to a consortium formed by the local subsidiaries of Telefonica, Telecom Italia and America Movil.

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