Chairman Jose Maria Alvarez-Pallete said Telefonica will announce whether it intends a partial sale or listing for its UK unit “in the coming weeks”.
According to media reports, Telefonica’s chief said the sale of a stake to an investor or listing of the unit is possible before the start of 2017, depending on market conditions.
Telefonica’s previous plan to sell the UK unit to CK Hutchison for £10.25 billion ($13.6 billion) was stymied by the European Commission over competition concerns.
Then the possibility of an IPO was reported to have been impacted by market turmoil following the UK’s vote to leave the European Union.
Alvarez-Pallete’s comments came as Telefonica announced its intention to float Telxius, its global infrastructure unit, in the second half of 2016.
Both measures would help Telefonica as it looks to reduce a substantial pile of debt that it is holding.
“We have decided that we are not going to sell the control of O2 in Britain,” said Alvarez-Pallete.
“In the coming weeks we will decide if it will involve a listing or the entry of new shareholders in O2 UK.”
His comments were reported by Reuters, amongst others.