Telefonica mulls Argentine IPO - Mobile World Live

Telefonica mulls Argentine IPO

27 JUN 2017

Telefonica may launch an initial public offering for a stake in its Argentine unit, and is also looking into network sharing agreements with other operators in the country, Bloomberg reported.

In the case of the IPO, it is hoping to take advantage of investor interest in emerging markets as it battles to reduce a group debt pile of around €50 billion.

Argentina is South America’s second largest economy and its president, Mauricio Macri, is encouraging foreign investments.

Telefonica is also readying itself for a new legal framework in the country that will let operators offer bundles of fixed and mobile lines, as well as internet and television services, as early as next year.

In January it was reported Telefonica was considering court action to block aspects of new guidelines into communications provision in Argentina.

The news followed suggested changes to the country’s policies for wireless and broadcast providers, which is an attempt by authorities to increase competition in both markets.

Reportedly, the decision to hold a new spectrum auction and encourage new entrants into the mobile market could be in “violation of the most basic rules of equality”, the operator said.

Telefonica has also been looking into an IPO of a minority share of its O2 UK unit although it was forced to drop plans for an IPO of Telxius in September 2016, 40 per cent of which it ended up selling for €1.3 billion.

In November 2016, credit rating agency Moody’s said Telefonica is unlikely to meet debt reduction targets by December 2017.

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Saleha Riaz

Saleha joined Mobile World Live in October 2014 as a reporter and works across all e-newsletters - creating content, writing blogs and reports as well as conducting feature interviews...More

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