The deadline for the completion of the deal for Telecom Italia to sell its stake in Telecom Argentina has been put back to 1 September.
Telecom Italia agreed in November last year to sell its 22.7 per cent “direct and indirect controlling interest” in the Argentinian business to US investment firm Fintech Group for $960 million. The transaction was initially expected to be completed early in August.
Other than the extension of the term of the stock purchase agreement, the terms and conditions of the deal have not been changed. No reason was given for the new deadline.
The agreement will see Fintech acquire shares owned directly by Telecom Italia, as well as buying into units of the Italian operator that hold equity in the Argentinian incumbent.
The companies involved are Telecom Italia International, Sofora Telecomunicaciones, Nortel Inversora and Tierra Argentea.
The sale of direct and indirect shares will raise $860 million for Telecom Italia.
The outstanding $100 million will be paid once various agreements have been met. This includes Telecom Italia continuing to provide its Telecom Argentina companies with technical support and other services for up to three years.
The sale was part of the Italian telecoms group’s plan to raise as much as €4 billion, to avoid a credit downgrade, but the company has said it expects the Telecom Argentina sale will not have a material impact on net debt.
Telecom Argentina’s mobile business operates under the Personal brand which had 19.8 million connections at the end of the second quarter, according to GSMA Intelligence figures.
America Movil’s Claro is the market leader with 21.3 million connections, while Telefonica’s Movistar is just behind Telecom Argentina with 19.5 million.