AT&T could raise as much as $653 million through an initial public offering (IPO) for Vrio, the holding company for its pay-TV assets in Latin America.
The operator said Vrio is offering nearly 29.7 million shares at an expected price of between $19 and $22 per share. The deal’s underwriters have the option to buy an additional 4.45 million shares, which could bring the total raised to more than $750 million if exercised.
Vrio will use the proceeds to repay its debts to AT&T and will also forward any leftover funds to the operator.
The Time Warner element
The IPO comes as the operator looks to reduce its debt load as it moves toward the close of an acquisition of Time Warner.
A battle to complete the acquisition, which is expected to add at least $180 billion to AT&T’s total debt, is currently being fought in a US courtroom. The US Department of Justice in November 2017 sued AT&T to block the deal, claiming it would harm US consumers. AT&T vigorously countered those claims.
The court case was expected to take between six weeks and eight weeks from its mid-March start date. But, as arguments dragged on in early days, the trial judge told lawyers from both parties they need to speed things up if AT&T is going to meet its 21 June deadline for the close of the acquisition.