Telefonica plans to sell shares in its Colombian unit as early as this year as part of its debt reduction strategy, according to Bloomberg.
The operator is looking to offer a minority stake in the unit, in which it holds a 70 per cent stake, according to people familiar with the situation.
The remaining 30 per cent is held by the Colombian government, which would need to approve any offering.
Telefonica’s Movistar is the country’s second largest mobile operator with 11.8 million subscribers, according to Wireless Intelligence (Q1 2013 figures). However the unit also includes fixed, internet and pay TV businesses.
At group level, Telefonica wants to cut at least EUR4 billion of debt this year. A Colombian IPO could raise in excess of EUR500 million.
Other assets could also be sold off by the Spanish operator including its Irish and Czech units, as well as its remaining minority stake in China Unicom and assets in Central America.
The company is thought to have recently put plans for a possible IPO of its whole Latin America businesses on hold, as its need to raise funds has reduced following an IPO of Telefonica Deutschland and a bond offering in 2012.