Telefónica considers sale of Irish subsidiary

Telefónica considers sale of Irish subsidiary

Spain-based Telefónica is considering the sale of its Irish subsidiary after receiving expressions of interests from potential buyers.

O2 Ireland, the country’s second largest mobile group could raise approximately €700 million if a deal goes ahead.

Telefónica said last month it was committed to pursuing asset sales as part of its debt reduction strategy.

According to the Financial Times the group is willing to listen to offers, and some companies have already expressed an interest in the Irish subsidiary.

Reports indicate Hong Kong’s Hutchison Whampoa, which owns rivaling operator 3 is in the running for the acquisition, but a second play in the country by the company could encounter a high level of regulatory scrutiny.

Analysts have long seen Telefónica’s Irish subsidiary as one that could be up for sale, given its non-core status within the group. The company has declared it is actively seeking to sell-off non profitable parts of the business.

The company is aiming to reduce its debt to below €47 billion by the end of the year, with the figure standing at approximately €51 billion.

It sold off a 40% stake in its Central American operations for €500 million in April, and the group has also been linked to sales and listings of its Czech business and Colombian operations in recent months.