Telefonica is awaiting shareholder approval to move ahead with plans to list its Argentine subsidiary on the Buenos Aires stock exchange, as it looks to raise funds to cut debt, Reuters reported.
The company said in a filing to the Argentine market regulator it will hold a shareholder meeting on 16 April to seek approval. The unit is valued at around €4.7 billion, including debt, and the funds raised will also be used to expand the company’s fibre network.
A representative confirmed the operator “is analysing different options to put into value its portfolio of assets, among which is Telefonica Argentina” but gave no more detail.
Argentina is a competitive market, with three operators. Telefonica, which operates under the Movistar brand, ranked in third place with a market share of around 30.6 per cent as of Q4 2017, according to GSMA Intelligence. America Movil (37 per cent) was top, and Telecom Argentina rounds off the list with 31 per cent.
Telefonica’s net debt at 31 December 2017 was €44.2 billion, down €4.4 billion year-on-year as a result of improving cash flow: it is looking to reduce debt further in 2018.