Telephone has sold to the Caribbean operator Millicom International Cellular the subsidiaries of Costa Rica, Panama and Nicaragua for around 1,650 million dollars (1,450 million euros). With this operation, Telefónica completes its divestment in its Central American subsidiary, after divesting the companies of Guatemala and El Salvador on January 24.
Specifically, the price of the operation 503 million euros for the subsidiary of Costa Rica; 573 million for Panama and 379 million for Nicaragua. Since in these last two countries, Telefónica owns 60% of the capital (the other 40% is held by Corporación Multi Inversiones), the Spanish multinational would enter around 1,000 million euros, with capital gains of 800 million.
The Spanish group sold its stake in the subsidiaries of Guatemala and El Salvador for 342 million euros, with capital gains of 72 million. In this way, with its divestment in the region it achieves an income of 2,025 million euros, which will allow it to reduce its bulky debt (42,636 million euros at the end of last September) by some 1,400 million euros.
The joint operation involves assessing Telefónica's Central American assets as 7.4 times the gross operating profit (Oibda), above the valuation of Latin American operators, according to company sources.
The Spanish multinational indicates that the transaction is part of the management policy of the Telefónica Group's asset portfolio, based on a strategy of value creation, optimization of return on capital and strategic positioning. It also complements the objective of reducing debt and strengthening the balance sheet through the organic route, in a scenario of increasing cash generation, which allows us to maintain a sustainable and attractive shareholder remuneration.
Telefónica is also exploring the possible sale of some of its data centers that have been interested by US companies Equinix and Digital Realty, both listed on the Nasdaq and specialized in data centers, and Canadian fund manager specialized in Brookeld infrastructures, who would bid for 525 million euros.