Angel Vila, Telefonica’s chief strategy and finance officer, argued the company’s recent dividend cut means it will not be forced to sell assets at a lower price than desired.
His comments came during a presentation at the Morgan Stanley TMT conference and were reported by the Financial Times.
The dividend cut showed Telefonica is prepared to adopt other measures to cut its debt load, so giving it a stronger hand in negotiations with possible buyers.
Vila also said the company was “not rushing into” a float of Telefonica O2 in the UK. An IPO is no longer on the cards, at least for this year.
“We continue preparation work…..in the meanwhile, if there are interested parties, we can listen,” he added.
Telefonica plans to maintain a majority stake in the UK unit, despite the listing. To date, it has put off private equity interest.
Vila said Telefonica had also received expressions of interest from private equity in its Telxius global infrastructure unit since pulling its float earlier this year.
“Maybe there are some possibilities. Now we have adjusted the dividend, we only do transactions that create value,” he said.