The sale of Telefonica’s Czech and Slovak units to Czech investment group PPF has been closed.
In a transaction worth CZK63.6 billion ($3.2 billion), Petr Kellner’s PPF will take full ownership of Telefonica Slovakia and a 65.9% stake in the Telefonica Czech Republic.
PPF spokemas Radek Stavel noted that the minority shareholders in Telefonica Czech Republic would have the opportunity to repurchase stock in the operator.
The two units have a maximum grace period of 4 years in which they can continue using their current O2 branding, after which they must rebrand.
The deal may have been the factor that prompted Telefonica to inform the Spanish stock market regulator that it had reduced its debt in each quarter of 2013, thereby achieving its goal of bringing its debt level below €47 billion by the end of the year.