Colombia ‘may sell’ stake in local branch of Telefónica – reports

The government of Colombia is poised to sell off its nearly one-third stake in the local branch of Telefónica, according to reports from Bogotá.

Telefónica Colombia (ColTel) and its rival, owned by Mexico’s América Móvil, were fined a total of $1.55 billion earlier this year and the company is heavily in debt.

ColTel, which uses Telefónica’s Movistar brand, is liable for about one third of the total, imposed because they use infrastructure originally built by the government, and also owes a reported $1.6 billion in pension-fund payments.

The government may sell off its 32.5% stake on ColTel, say the reports. The Telefónica group owns the other 67.5%.