After América Movil bought Telefonica’s subsidiaries in Guatemala and El Salvador, the Spanish company accelerates negotiations to sell its branches in Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Panama, for a value that would surpass USD 570 million. According to Spanish newspaper ‘El Economista’, favorite to acquire them would be Millicom, although there would also be interest from Liberty Latin America and AT&T.
Telefónica intends to get rid of almost all of the capital it owns in Costa Rica and 60% of the one it owns both in the subsidiaries of Nicaragua and Panama. In these last two, the company bares a part of shares with Corporación Multi Inversiones (CMI), which owns the remaining 40% of both operators since 2013.
If negotiations prosper in the direction indicated for Telefónica, ‘cut in debt would exceed USD 1,143 so far this year,” explained to economist Antonio Lorenzo. On the other hand, Telefónica’s official sources indicated that the company ‘does not make any comments on market rumors’.
In none of the countries are regulatory problems prevented for Tigo (Millicom). In Nicaragua, telecommunications business is shared between Claro (América Móvil) and Movistar (Telefónica). In Panama, these companies also compete, in addition to Cable & Wireless (Liberty) and Digicel. Nor would regulators suffer from either Liberty Media or AT&T, since none of them has market presence in any of the countries involved. In Costa Rica, ICE leads telecommunications and pay TV business, where Claro, Movistar and Tigo also compete.