Telefonica moves closer to Costa Rica exit - Mobile World Live

Telefonica moves closer to Costa Rica exit

01 JUN 2021

Costa Rica’s telecoms authority approved the sale of Telefonica’s local operation to Liberty Latin America, which plans to combine the business with its existing fixed and broadcast unit in the country.

In its report on the acquisition, regulator Superintendencia de Telecomunicaciones (Sutel) concluded the move was unlikely to have any negative impact on competition in the country.

It added the new owner would be required to maintain the current quality of service offered by Telefonica’s Movistar unit.

Liberty Latin America struck the deal to acquire Telefonica’s Costa Rican operation for $500 million in 2020, subject to regulatory approval.

At the time, the buyer noted it would combine the mobile business with its fixed brand Cabletica to create a leading integrated player.

For Telefonica, the sale is the latest of a number of divestments in Central America and will see it finally dispose of the unit after Millicom controversially backed-out of an agreement to acquire it for $570 million.

Movistar Costa Rica is the second-largest of three mobile providers in the market. GSMA Intelligence figures for Q1 estimate its number of connections at 2.4 million, behind state-owned Kolbi (4.8 million) but ahead of America Movil’s Claro (1.8 million).

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Chris Donkin

Chris joined the Mobile World Live team in November 2016 having previously worked at a number of UK media outlets including Trinity Mirror, The Press Association and UK telecoms publication Mobile News. After spending 10 years in journalism, he moved...

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