Vrio is the latest AT&T asset to be sold as the operator exits media

AT&T lines up Vrio video unit sale

22 JUL 2021

AT&T agreed to sell its Vrio video services unit to Grupo Werthein for an undisclosed sum, the latest in a series of asset sales meant to raise cash and end the operator’s foray into the media business.

Vrio is the holding company for AT&T’s Latin American digital entertainment businesses, serving South America and the Caribbean via DirectTV Latin America, Sky Brasil and DirecTV Go. Its infrastructure includes satellites and broadcast centres.

At 30 June, Vrio had 10.3 million subscribers in 11 countries. It employs around 9,000 people. In a statement, AT&T explained most staff “will transition to Grupo Werthein”.

Grupo Werthein is a privately held 100-year-old multinational company currently operating in six business segments. It is based primarily in Latin America but operates globally.

Excluded from the deal are AT&T’s mobile business in Mexico, its interest in Sky Mexico and Vrio’s broadband operations in Colombia.

AT&T explained it had already included a $4.6 billion impairment charge on Vrio in its Q2 figures, which it is due to release later today (22 July), $2.1 billion of which related to currency adjustments.

It added the companies expect to complete the deal in early 2022.

Vrio is the latest in a series of asset moves AT&T implemented to fund network construction and reduce debt, including plans to offload a stake in DirecTV and spinning off WarnerMedia.

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Martha DeGrasse

Freelance tech journalist Martha DeGrasse (@mardegrasse) is delighted to be contributing to Mobile World Live. Martha has written for a number of telecom and wireless publications, and was a writer, editor and video producer at RCR Wireless News for almost...

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