AT&T mulls sale of Latin America TV businesses - Mobile World Live

AT&T mulls sale of Latin America TV businesses

18 SEP 2017

AT&T is investigating the potential sale of its pay TV units across Latin America in a bid to reduce debt ahead of the completion of its Time Warner megadeal, Reuters reported.

According to the news website’s sources, the US-based operator appointed a financial advisor to investigate the possibility of divesting the units, which could raise up to $8 billion for the company if a buyer – or number of buyers – can be found.

Potential suitors include media giant Liberty Global, Telefonica and Millicom.

AT&T offers pay TV services across a number of countries in the region including Brazil, Argentina and Colombia. According to sources all media units in the region are on the negotiation table with the exception of its business in Mexico, which the operator considers a priority market.

Speculation on the proposed sale of  Latin American assets to reduce debt follow similar reports in August, stating the company could offload consumer IoT play Digital Life to raise $1 billion.

Time Warner
Proposed attempts to improve the debt situation at the firm come as the company prepares for the integration of Time Warner, which is still subject to an ongoing approvals process.

Since the $85 billion deal was announced in October 2016, AT&T executives have frequently stated their confidence the merger would be given the green light both in the US and across the other markets it operates in.

Although talks are said to be progressing well in the US, and the European Commission has already cleared the deal, in August it emerged the situation was less clear-cut in Latin America.

While authorities in Mexico and Chile have given the go-ahead, Brazil’s Administrative Council for Economic Defense raised concerns, given AT&T’s controlling stake in pay TV operator Sky in the country and has deferred the matter to Brazil’s Administrative Tribunal.

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Chris Donkin

Chris joined the Mobile World Live team in November 2016 having previously worked at a number of UK media outlets including Trinity Mirror, The Press Association and UK telecoms publication Mobile News. After spending 10 years in journalism, he moved...

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