AT&T revealed plans to sell its mobile and fixed assets in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands to broadband provider Liberty Latin America for nearly $2 billion, as it continues to shed outlying businesses to cut debt.
The $1.95 billion deal includes the handover of AT&T’s network assets; spectrum; real estate and related leases; contracts; and customers, including 1.1 million mobile subscribers.
Some 1,300 AT&T employees will also transfer to Liberty Latin America once the transaction is finalised.
Liberty Latin America CEO Balan Nair said in a statement the addition of AT&T’s assets to its own broadband and TV portfolio “will create a strong and competitive integrated communications player”.
AT&T noted the deal will not affect its commitment to build a dedicated network for emergency responders (known as FirstNet) in either location.
Closing is subject to review by both the US Federal Communications Commission and Department of Justice, but is expected within nine months.
John Stephens, AT&T CFO, noted the transaction stemmed from the operator’s “ongoing strategic review of our balance sheet and assets,” which aims to identify opportunities to raise funds to pay down billions in debt.
Including the Liberty Latin America deal, AT&T said it had completed or announced sales totalling more than $11 billion.