Telefonica completed the sale of a European tower unit owned by its Telxius subsidiary to communications infrastructure provider American Tower for approximately €6.2 billion, as the operator looks to accelerate debt reduction efforts as part of a business transformation strategy.
The operator explained it received the green light from regulators in Spain and Germany to close the transaction, which it expects to reduce net debt by around €4.1 billion.
Telefonica stated the move highlighted its “ability to face the challenges posed by the new reality, demonstrating anticipation and agility”, as part of a strategy it unveiled in November 2019.
The American Tower agreement involves Telefonica also trading Telxius assets in Latin America.
Telefonica explained the deals for Spain and Germany demonstrated the “level of execution” of its strategy, which focuses on “the active management of its businesses and assets, based on value creation” and accelerating the organic reduction of debt.
It expects its total debt to be reduced by around €9 billion, boosted by cash generated from the tower sales in Europe and Latin America, alongside inorganic operations which are yet to be closed.
The group highlighted the merger of its O2 UK division with Liberty Global’s Virgin Media UK unit as another pillar of its strategy, with the deal expected to cut debt by approximately €5 billion.