Telefonica SA plans to sell shares of its Colombian division

Halts initial public offering for all of its Latin American assets

 

Spain’s largest telephone company Telefonica plans to sell shares of its Colombian division as early as this year after halting an initial public offering for all of its Latin American assets, according to people familiar with the matter.

Telefonica, which owns 70 per cent of the unit, intends to offer a minority holding in an IPO, according to sources.

Telefonica still needs approval from the Colombian government, which holds the remaining shares, to proceed with a transaction, the people said.

Telefonica is seeking to cut at least €4.3 billion in net debt this year. The Madrid-based carrier could raise more than €500 million from the sale of as much as 19 per cent stake in order to keep control of the asset, according to Andres Bolumburu, an analyst at Banco de Sabadell in Madrid. – ( Bloomberg )